Dubai, the Future City, recently announced its plans to debut self-flying taxis this year. Now, Dubai Police is taking its force to the next level with small autonomous patrol cars equipped with drones, according to Gulf News (via The Verge ).
The self-driving police cars are expected to hit the road by the end of the year. The vehicles will come with biometric software that will scan individuals it comes across, looking out for criminals and those who are suspected of breaking the law.
The police car, which is equipped with 360-degree cameras, will patrol different locations in Dubai, will be on the lookout for suspicious activity and will scan crowds.
In case it needs to follow an individual, or for another reason, the car will launch a drone from the rear, which is monitored and linked to Dubai Police offices.
“It can recognise people in any area and identify suspicious objects and can track suspects,” It has a drone and the user [police officer] needs to access the car through fingerprint. It will be deployed at tourist destinations in Dubai,” Brigadier Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, director of the Smart Services Department in Dubai Police, told Gulf News.
The autonomous police cars are part of the Smart Dubai initiative. Dubai Police signed a deal with Singapore-based OTSAW Digital for the self-driving vehicles, called O-R3.
“Dubai Police are keen to get the latest technology to fight crime,” said Dubai Police Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri. “We always search for the best technology to serve our police work for a safer and smarter city. We seek to augment operations with the help of technology such as robots. We aim for streets to be safe and peaceful even without heavy police patrol.”
Robocops In Dubai
The use of autonomous vehicles isn’t the only upgrade in Dubai’s police force. The Future City announced in May the recruitment of the United Arab Emirates’ first “robocop.” The 3-meter tall robot, which is equipped with cameras linked to the police command center, will be used to chase down suspects and grab those who don’t pay their parking fees. The Robocop’s first posting will be at malls and tourist attractions. The robot will be able to help tourists, since it has a touchscreen on its chest in which people can report a crime, pay traffic fines or chat in English or Arabic. The Robocop, which can run 80 kilometers per hour, will add more languages in the future, including Spanish, Russian, Chinese and French. The Dubai police force said it is also working on face recognition technology.
Dubai is aiming to make 25 percent of the police force robotic by 2030.
“We are not going to fire our police officers by replacing them with this tool but with the number of people in Dubai increasing, we want to relocate police officers so they work in the right areas and can concentrate on providing a safe city,” Brig Al Razooqi said in statement.