Iconiq Motors, the electric vehicle arm of Dubai-based W Motors has announced it is ready with an EV that is Level 5 autonomous, meaning it has no need for human intervention. Even the steering wheel is optional on the Iconiq L5.
Developed under project name L5 (obviously hinting at the goal of the undertaking), the vehicle will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the United States in January 2019. The name of the production model will also be revealed at the event.
Level 5 is the zenith of autonomous capability a vehicle can achieve. Level 5 autonomous cars do not need a steering wheel or human intervention. W Motors boss Ralph R Debbas spoke to The National regarding the project: “The autonomous car is a very special project we’ve been working on locally here in the UAE. It’s the first Level 5 fully autonomous vehicle, fully developed in the UAE as well, and electric.”
He continued: “It’s going to lead the way for Expo 2020 to have cars driving around the Expo and showcase the UAE flag as the first country in the world to develop Level 5 autonomous cars. We are working in partnership with Akka Technologies and Microsoft Global to implement the most cutting-edge technology. This is the info that can be shared for the moment.”
While automotive giants around the world like Tesla and Google’s Waymo have been working full steam on Level 5 autonomy for their products, Debbas is confident that Iconiq Motors will beat everybody else to the punch. “Many companies are working on the Level 5, currently having already launched the Level 4,” Debbas says. “However, we are aiming to be the first autonomous Level 5, to come out from the UAE and the Middle East.”