Dubai’s Autonomous Patrol Cars

Dubai stated that it wants 25% of its police force to be robots by 2030. It is one step closer to its goal. Dubai is introducing a tiny autonomous patrol car to scan people while on its route. They claim it will identify criminals and “undesirables.” The Dubai police force plans to have an operational fleet by the end of the year.

Dubai’s autonomous patrol cars

The region’s completely autonomous patrol cars -dubbed O-R3- are, according to the Telegraph, about waist height, come with 360-degree surveillance technology, and can be programmed to patrol specific areas. These cars use bio-metric scanners to look for and identify criminals and “undesirables.”

Authorities believe the very presence of these cars will be sufficient crime deterrents. In case of a chase, these cars are equipped with a mini drone that can pursue suspects in areas the cars cannot access themselves. These drones are linked to the Dubai Police’s command room, so humans can assist and oversee.

The O-R3 is built and manufactured by Singapore-based company OTSAW Digital. The company says that Dubai is the first city in the world to use the autonomous patrol car. They also add that the O-R3 is not meant to replace human officers, but rather to act as support in lower priority tasks.

The patrol cars are equipped with a laser scanner, a thermal camera, GPS and lidar, and HD cameras. They have facial and license plate recognition capabilities which are fully automated. They are even capable of charging themselves. But at any time, humans can override these cars’ systems and take control if necessary.

At first, the O-R3 will be deployed in tourist areas. Dubai police chief Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri said:

“We seek to augment operations with the help of technology such as robots. Essentially, we aim for streets to be safe and peaceful even without heavy police patrol.”

Dubai’s recent investments

Back in February, Dubai announced it will have flying taxi passenger drones operating above the city. In June, the city announced it had a robotic cop join its police force, which can be used to transmit live images, report crimes, inquire about tickets, and identify wanted suspects. It also speaks six languages and is able to read facial expressions.

Back in 2013, Dubai added high-performance cars to its police fleet, with Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and a McLaren. The city also purchased water jetpacks for its firefighters.

Dubai’s large investments in new technology and high-end cars are concentrated in its tourist hub, which attracts an impressive 15 million visitors yearly. These investments help bring in even more tourists, as seeing an Aston Martin with police markings on the streets is novel and interesting.