Airlift Systems is introducing Qatar’s first 5G powered smart delivery transport in Education City – the first pilot area for self-driving delivery vehicle in MENA, sponsored by Vodafone Qatar and in partnership with Talabat. 

The new technology is also supported by Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI).

During the trial, Education City residents, students and staff can place orders on Talabat and pay online through the usual process to get their deliveries. To ensure that food is delivered securely, customers are provided with QR codes, which they will use to unlock the vehicle’s compartment and to retrieve their package.

The pilot is a three-month trial of the vehicle’s capacity to show performance comparable to, or indistinct from that of a human. The trial will also obtain consumer feedback, using it to develop strategies that ensures customer satisfaction in long-term deployment.

The vehicle is equipped with a real-time low latency feedback system powered by Vodafone’s 5G network and monitored remotely in a control room at Education City. This allows the operator to  control the vehicle in emergency cases and to stop the vehicle when needed.

According to Vodafone Qatar Chief Operating Officer Diego Camberos,  Vodafone Qatar understands the critical role of innovation in building a diversified and competitive economy, which is why they are committed to supporting innovative Qatari start-ups such as Airlift.

Our extensive 5G network provides extremely high bandwidth, ultra-low latency, and the high levels of security Airlift’s driverless vehicles need to function efficiently.

He said that the Airlift project is a perfect example of how 5G is enabling the digital transformation of mobility – and other areas – that are already shaping an exciting future.

Airlift Systems CEO Ahmed Mohamedali said they are eager to work with enterprises to experiment with self-driving technology which is cost effective and agile to capture value and augment staff productivity.

We’re very glad to have formed this unique partnership with Talabat Qatar and thankful for the support from Vodafone and QF RDI office to enable this pilot. We’re also very grateful for the continued support from Qatar Science and Technology Park since inception.

With delivery trips starting from Multaqa (Education City Student Center), the vehicle will service three locations – SouthNest (Male Student Housing), NorthNest (Female Student Housing) and The Campus – Education City Guest Residence. It will drive at a maximum speed of 6 km/hr, equivalent to human walking pace, and will be strictly limited to sidewalks, using roadways only for crossings.