The new digital and social media to discover Arabia and the Middle East. Offbeat. Innovative.

Autonomous vehicles, soon to be on the road in the MENA

China's Neolix recently signed a preliminary agreement with the Middle East e-commerce company Midi and Dubai's e-commerce platform Noon to test autonomous delivery vehicles in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The MENA region will soon look more futuristic. The Chinese company, Neolix, recently announced its intention to build driverless vehicles in partnership with Arab e-commerce companies, Midi and Noon, to make deliveries to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The agreement signed during the official visit of the Emirate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on 22 July to China specifies in particular that Neolix is committed to building autonomous vehicles adapted to the region’s weather conditions and that Noon agrees to focus on delivering the last kilometer in the key areas of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Autonomous vehicles, the key to the future for the MENA region

Since last May, Neolix has been mass-producing its self-propelled vans and plans to deliver 1,000 vehicles worth $30,000 each (Dh110.175) in the first year of production.

According to a study by the American consulting firm McKinsey, driverless technology is transforming transport, logistics and transit infrastructure around the world and by 2030, it is expected that up to 20% of cars sold will be fully autonomous.