RTA launches autonomous food delivery ‘talabots’ in Dubai

RTA launches autonomous food delivery ‘talabots’ in Dubai

The launch of autonomous delivery robots is part of an ambition to support riders in the next generation of sustainable delivery

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in partnership with Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) and talabat UAE, has announced the pilot launch of autonomous food delivery robots, also known as "talabots," in Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO).

This initiative aims to revolutionise sustainable last-mile delivery in the UAE by encouraging the use of zero-emission modes of delivery and employing advanced technology to enhance efficiency.

This effort aligns with Dubai's goal of switching 25 per cent of all transportation trips to be smart and driverless by 2030.

The pilot phase will introduce three "talabots" that will serve the residents of Cedre Villas, a gated community in the heart of DSO, which is a member of DIEZ. The "talabots" are designed for high efficiency and harmonious urban living and will travel within a 3-kilometre radius from the Cedre shopping Centre launch point to ensure a speedy 15-minute delivery time.

The launch of autonomous delivery robots is part of an ambition to support riders in the next generation of sustainable delivery by having robots cover short-distance deliveries, increasing efficiency, fleet optimisation, and reducing carbon emissions.

Smart mobility is one of the six pillars of DSO’s Smart City Strategy, which is at the core of piloting carbon-neutral delivery robots in a closely monitored and controlled environment within the hi-tech park. We look forward to the success of this trial, and its expansion as part of DSO’s role as an innovation- and knowledge hub under the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.
Dr Juma Al Matrooshi, Director-General of DSO

He added, "Our partnership with the public and private sectors yields new opportunities in different industries and supports sustainable development and accelerates the achievement of the strategic initiative UAE Net Zero by 2050. This supports building up a sustainable and smart socio-economic environment that instils Dubai’s and the wider UAE’s statuses as a preferred destination to live, work, invest, innovate, and test smart technologies of the future.”

This step is in line with the RTA's strategy to promote innovation, integration, innovative mobility, and relevant skills and expertise, in addition to providing the private sector with the tools needed to adopt autonomous mobility services in its operational processes. This ensures providing added value for customers, in accordance with the effort of Dubai and the UAE in this regard.

Ahmed Bahrozyan, Chief Executive Officer of The Public Transport Agency, RTA

Bahrozyan emphasised that RTA is eager to expand its partnerships with the private sector in collaboration with local partners, with the aim of spreading the culture of innovation in the transportation sector, along with integrating such innovations into its operations, to achieve the emirate's vision in this sphere.

The pilot of autonomous delivery robots in DSO, in partnership with RTA and talabat, is part of DIEZ’s keenness to implement innovative concepts that support the smart city strategy of Dubai. It also contributes to realising the vision of positioning Dubai as the smartest city by imagining the future, designing it, and executing it, as well as testing environment-friendly technologies to reduce carbon emissions in line with 2023 being the Year of Sustainability. Through this partnership, we aim to provide innovative, safe, and feasible solutions for delivery and logistical services through autonomous transport, the demand for which is increasing in Dubai.
Muammar Al Katheeri, Chief Officer Engineering & Smart City at DIEZ

Commenting on the ground-breaking launch, Tatiana Rahal, Managing Director at talabat UAE, said, "A monumental leap towards the future of online food delivery and smart mobility, we are excited and proud to unveil our fleet of talabots, which witnessed great success when they were first introduced in Expo 2020 Dubai, to offer sustainable and seamless delivery experiences to residents in DSO. We share this success with our exceptional partners and experts in their fields - RTA and DIEZ who helped us facilitate the next chapter of digital transformation in this space. Looking forward, talabat continues to embolden UAE’s position as a global frontrunner in game-changing technologies that will drive a positive impact on the nation’s economy, environment and people.” This milestone is a direct result of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, which is organised annually by RTA.

DSO hosted the tests for candidates, specifically the second round, which focused on "Self-driving Logistical Services," including ground transport and drones. This initiative is part of the RTA's ambitions to expand the deployment of self-driving transport at all levels by enabling and empowering leading companies in the sector. Self-driving transport plays a fundamental pillar in RTA's strategy, and the agency has launched several innovative projects in recent years aimed at making self-driving transport a tangible reality in Dubai.

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