The five young men founded the company “Airlift”, which relied on self-financing in its major share, to finally succeed in launching the first autonomous vehicle specialized in delivering orders in the State of Qatar and the Middle East region, after the test period that lasted more than two months in the streets of the Netherlands, as well as In the Qatar Science and Technology Park in Doha, which hosts the company.
In conjunction with the spread of the Corona pandemic, the autonomous vehicle has specialized in delivering orders to the specified destination by automatically opening its doors without contact, and this is using the customer’s QR code only.
The vehicle can be used to transport meals, grocery products, medicines and other various products, and it can transport products weighing up to 120 kilograms, and this makes it capable of carrying out many roles.
The entrepreneur and CEO of AirLift of Qatar, Ahmed Muhammad Ali, told Al-Jazeera Net that the process of designing and developing the vehicle lasted two years until the launch of the first version of the autonomous Airlift, which is currently being tested in the Dutch city of Breda as part of the first test of an autonomous vehicle on public roads in Holland.
Ali believes that the vehicle is designed to be multi-purpose, but the primary function of the current version is to deliver goods, while it will have many other functions, but work is currently underway in the areas of examination and automatic data collection.
The CEO of AirLift revealed that the production plan currently aims to attract sufficient investment to produce 100 vehicles by 2022, and to launch them on the streets of Qatar and Europe.
The Qatari entrepreneur appreciated the role played by the Qatar Foundation Science and Technology Park in incubating AirLift since its inception, and this includes providing office space, a development laboratory, and other services for the company.
He pointed out that the Corona pandemic has led to an increase in global demand for transportation technologies that reduce users’ exposure to disease vectors, as AirLift provides a safe delivery process that includes automatic opening of locker doors and self-sterilization of goods transported by vehicle.
Regarding the vehicle’s specifications, Ali explained that the vehicle is powered by an electric motor powered by rechargeable batteries to enable the vehicle to travel 70 km at a maximum speed of 25 km per hour, indicating that the vehicle is intended for running on sidewalks and bicycle paths, and for this reason its size was determined in order to comply with the rules and measurements of these roads .
He added that the height of the vehicle does not exceed 175 cm, so that pedestrians can easily see the environment behind and in the vicinity of the vehicle, and the width of the vehicle is 90 cm, which is the average size of bicycle paths in most roads.
And he indicated that the vehicle is equipped with a package of sensors that synchronize to ensure a safe and compatible with European conditions and standards for this type of vehicle. The most important of these sensors, a three-dimensional laser sensor, has been developed by Airlift engineers and is currently under patent.
The CEO of AirLift stated that the company specializes in technology and software and hardware development to employ it in autonomous driving technologies, and has a headquarters in the Qatari capital, Doha, and has another headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as part of its expansion plan in the European market.