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Local platform, hi-tech firm team up to improve autonomous vehicles

By Rana Husseini - May 10,2018 - Last updated at May 10,2018

Lynx autonomous car is displaced in this undated photo (Photo courtesy of Acacus Technologies)

AMMAN — Two driverless cars are expected to roam the streets of King Hussein Business Park in Amman by year-end to run errands, deliver mail and provide other business requirements in the complex, thanks to the innovative work of Acacus Technologies.

Acacus Technologies is teaming up with TechWorks, an innovative platform inaugurated by HRH Crown Prince Hussein on Monday to address the need for youth to access the right tools to enhance their creativity, to develop the vehicles.

Acacus Technologies is expected to provide support in creating multiple prototypes of the autonomous cars and in setting up a mini-manufacturing and production line onsite for other equip leveraging machine learning technologies and electronics.

Founder and CEO of Dubai-based Acacus Technologies Talal Bin Haleem said the developed vehicle, called "Lynx", is a state-of-the-art vehicle tracking solution.

“Our development team is based in Jordan; we have modified a vehicle called Lynx, which will hopefully reduce the use of vehicles by people and at the same time help run errands such as delivering mail and pizzas,” Bin Haleem told The Jordan Times.  

He added that the autonomous vehicle is part of a technology that has progressed “so much that it is actually accessible by companies in the region”.

 

“We’ve basically converted a normal car into a driverless one and we are now focusing on making a fleet that would help people with their daily life errands at the lowest costs,” Bin Haleem explained.

The idea for the company is for Jordan to host the ongoing development of this vehicle which “we will be testing it here at the business park”.

The vehicle will be developed at TechWorks, Bin Haleem said, noting that “we started developing the components, such as the boards, the sensors, the way the sensors are mounted and the actual programming”.

“The idea is that the more you test and train the software, the better the technology gets and eventually the vehicle will start understanding what it needs to do better and better,” Bin Haleem said. 

The initial test version will have a human being in the car “for safety reasons” in order to be able to switch it off when needed, according to the executive, who voiced hope “to have young people from Jordan and elsewhere contribute to the project in its ongoing development”. 

“If we get people excited and involved, we will have reached our goal,” he concluded.

Acacus is the first company in MENA to develop an autonomous vehicle technology solution, according to the firm.  

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