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Illustration by Joaquín Kunkel

UAE Updates

A look into what’s been going on in the UAE this week.

Nov 17, 2018

Dubai Automotive Company Set to Reveal the First Fully Autonomous Car in the World
On Nov. 15, Iconiq Motors — the electric-vehicle partner corporation of Dubai's W Motors — announced their plans to unveil a Level 5, fully autonomous vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. If produced, this Level 5 vehicle with steering wheel optional driving would require no human intervention in the driving, parking and navigating processes; unlike its lower level autonomous counterparts at Tesla. Iconiq Motors are set to achieve this production goal and become the first company to produce and reveal a Level 5 vehicle. Fully developed in the UAE, the company is partnering with Akka Technologies and Microsoft Global in an effort to install the most technologically advanced hardware and software in the vehicle.
The UAE itself is not unfamiliar with investments and goals towards producing fully automated vehicles; early last year the Dubai government announced that 200 Level 4 Teslas will serve as taxis in 2020. However, as W Motors boss Ralph R. Debbas told The National, this Iconiq project is "going to lead the way for Expo 2020 to have cars driving around the Expo and showcase the UAE flag as the first country in the world to develop Level 5 autonomous cars.”
Women Participate in Eighth Edition of the Dubai Women’s Run
On Nov. 16, 4000 women and girls across Dubai and the UAE, aged 14 years and older, participated in the eighth annual edition of the Dubai Women’s Run at Festival Bay, Dubai Festival City Mall; all in the spirit of womanhood.
The event was sponsored by the Dubai Sports Council, the UAE Athletics Federation and the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children and was organized by the Plan b Group, who have managed the race since early 2017. The Plan b Group has dedicated itself to a Women of Substance mentoring platform project for girls and women and plans to open a 3K school race by 2019 to promote healthy living and fitness in younger children.
The event itself hosted a 5k and 10k race and also featured a variety of post-race events, including cultural performances, food stalls, beverage kiosks, a spontaneous flashmob and a DJ.
Nanosatellite Built by UAE Students Travels into Space
On Nov. 17, at 1:02 p.m., students from Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi launched a Nanosatellite — MySat1 — which they had built from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia. The initial launch date, Nov. 15, was pushed back due to bad weather conditions in Virginia; despite this, the Cygnus NG-10 flight is still on course to reach the International Space Station in two days.
The satellite itself was created to collect observational data and will be carrying an external camera for observation of the Earth as well as a battery that was developed at the Masdar Institute. As the second space object built by the UAE and the first 100 percent Emirati-made satellite, MySat1 serves as a significant national feat and has been sent to the ISS, along with various science experiments and 700 kilograms of essential supplies to the crew.
Dylan Palladino is News Editor. Email him at
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