Dubai police’s newest recruit is self-driving robo-car with facial-recognition tech

The newest special car that is all set to join the Dubai Police’s fleet of patrol vehicles is not a supercar. In fact, it might just be a little more special than any other car that is part of that fleet that includes some big names like the Bugatti Veyron, Aston Martin One-77 and Mercedes SLS, amongst others. Meet the O-R3: a self-driving car that acts a mobile surveillance unit. The robo-car is the size of those electric buggies made for children, but it packs a serious punch when it comes to technology. The tiny fully-autonomous car can navigate on its own using machine-learning algorithms and also comes equipped with thermal imaging and license-plate readers.

Built by Singapore-based start-up OTSAW Digital, the bot has 360-degree cameras on the roof that “scan for wanted criminals and undesirables” using facial recognition technology. OTSAW says Dubai will be the first city in the world to use the O-R3 for everyday patrols. However, the company said that the robot isn’t intended to replace human police officers, but to “fulfill low-level order enforcement tasks.” The robot car comes with a built-in aerial drone that can be deployed to survey areas and people that the car can’t reach. “We seek to augment operations with the help of technology such as robots,” Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, the head of the Dubai police, said in a statement. “Essentially, we aim for streets to be safe and peaceful without heavy police patrol.”


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