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Image credit: OTSAW Digital

Dubai will police streets with autonomous patrol cars

It hopes to have them in place by the end of 2017.
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OTSAW Digital

Earlier this year, Dubai announced that it would begin flying passenger taxi drones this summer. Now, it's putting autonomous cars on the road as well; by the end of the year, the Dubai police plan on deploying a fleet of self-driving police cars that will scan people and identify criminals and "undesirables."

The driverless car will operate completely autonomously; it will patrol the city on its own and use biometric software to scan individuals it comes across. Officials are hoping that the very presence of the vehicle in an area will be enough to deter crime; it also comes complete with an onboard drone that will be linked to the Dubai Police's command room for aerial surveillance.

OTSAW Digital, a Singapore-based company will be building and manufacturing the O-R3 security robots for the city. They are equipped with a laser scanner, thermal camera, HD cameras, GPS and lidar in order to navigate, and can additionally utilize these cameras for facial and license plate recognition. While the robot vehicle is fully automated, humans can override the systems and easily take control of the OR-3 if necessary.

The Dubai police department has previously discussed its intention of replacing 25 percent of its police force with robots. Last month, Dubai introduced its first robotic police officer to the force. With the addition of the OR-3 vehicles by the end of 2017, Dubai seems to be well on its way to its goal of creating a fully robotic, human-free police station by 2030.

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