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Mini Driverless Cop Cars to Hunt for Criminals in Dubai

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O-R3 robotic vehicles

Criminals in Dubai already have robot cops to watch out for, and soon the tech-savvy city will be getting autonomous cop cars that patrol the city looking for criminals and other persons of interest.

The miniature police cars, which are about the size of child's electric toy car, are expected to start patrolling streets before the end of the year, according to a report from Dubai's Gulf News.

Created by Singapore-based OTSAW Digital, the O-R3 vehicles "will be equipped with biometric software to scan for wanted criminals and undesirables who are suspected or are breaking laws," the report notes. They will patrol various areas of the city, sans an actual human behind the wheel, while scanning faces looking for known criminals and other people of interest to the authorities.

The O-R3 vehicles are outfitted with "an array of cameras" offering thermal imaging, facial and license plate recognition, and 3D photography capabilities, according to OTSAW Digital's website. If that's not enough to scare you straight, each vehicle is outfitted with a drone that offers aerial surveillance.

"Together with a formidable physical presence on site, O-R3 effectively deters potential crime," the site reads.


The vehicles are powered by an "advanced machine learning algorithm," and can navigate their surroundings while avoiding obstacles. Dubai will be the first city in the world to deploy the vehicles.

"Dubai Police are keen to get the latest technology to fight crime," Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri said in a statement, according to Gulf News. "We always search for the best technology to serve our police work for a safer and smarter city. We seek to augment operations with the help of technology such as robots. We aim for streets to be safe and peaceful even without heavy police patrol."

Meanwhile, Dubai at the World Government Summit in February announced plans to deploy another cool innovation: the Ehang 184 flying taxi. The aircraft, which offers room for just one person at a time, will be operational in July. Riders will be able to select a destination on a touch screen in front of the seat, and sit back as the drone flies there on its own.

Watch: We Rode in a Self-Driving Uber Car


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