King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has launched Saudi Arabia’s first-ever self-driving vehicle service in partnership with EasyMile and Local Motors, on its campus in Thuwal.

Innovation and sustainability are two of KAUST’s highest priorities. Implementing autonomous vehicles on campus is an important next step for them in creating transportation solutions that help reduce emissions, increase mobility and can help diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy.

The shuttles on the KAUST campus use mapping, cognitive response technology, light detection and ranging (Lidar), and obstacle avoidance systems to control, navigate and drive the vehicles. Both shuttles are fully electric and sustainable, making them not only easily accessible, but also environmentally friendly.

Students and researchers will work together with EasyMile on developing and introducing the new technology in a controlled environment and gathering performance data including vehicle performance, usage rates, and user experience.