Sustainable mobility concept vehicle unveiled at Umex and SimTex 2024

A prototype called Magnus is one of many tech innovations displayed at the event in Abu Dhabi

Magnus by Eneron is a revolutionary multi-purpose vehicle designed for optimal off-road performance. Victor Besa / The National
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Eneron, a subsidiary of the UAE-based tech, transportation and sustainability solutions company Kintsugi, unveiled its Magnus prototype during an exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

A multi-use and tactical vehicle was unveiled on Tuesday, during the first day of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Simulation and Training Exhibition.

The vehicle – designed by automotive designer Michael Vernon Robinson, who has designed cars for Fiat, Ford and Volvo – will offer a smarter, faster and greener transportation solution, the company said.

“It’s an Italian look with a UAE heart,” said Tareq Albannay, vice president of future systems at Kintsugi, who said the plans entail for a street legal version to eventually be available.

“The car itself has artificial intelligence and provides you with optimisation, safety and maintenance alerts.”

Mr Albanny said the hybrid vehicle has a range of up to 800km, 600km via diesel and 200km via electric.

“It’s the future of tactical mobility,” he said, adding that the vehicle would also have the ability to be fully autonomous.

“Currently there’s no such electric-hybrid car of this type,” added Mr Albanny, referring to the tactical and armoured nature of the prototype on display at Umex.

According to Kintsugi, the body of the 6-tonne vehicle is made of an advanced composite material, giving it unprecedented durability against ballistics or mines.

The doors can open 90 degrees, something Eneron is referring to as a 'wide exit' or 'wide entry' feature, allowing for the doors to potentially be used as shields from incoming combat fire.

Kintsugi plans for the 6-seater tactical vehicle to be eventually manufactured in the UAE when it's ready for release, and for a non-tactical version to be made available.

“As a leading technology company we don't just cater to the military sector,” said Rashed Al Mohtadi, senior manager of business development at Kintsugi. “We are looking to have a civil version, a prototype displayed at Idex in 2025.”

“We're going to keep innovating and disrupting,” he added. “Kintsugi is a Japanese art form that brings pieces together to form beautiful art, and that's exactly what we do using AI and technology,” he added.

It usually takes the automotive industry several years to create prototypes of vehicles, but Eneron only took 3 months to go from concept to prototype, Mr Al Mohtadi said.

The potential price range of the vehicle was not announced at the exhibition.

At a news conference previewing the event last week, it was announced that more than 18,000 attendees were expected at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre for the three-day Umex and SimTex exhibition, along with 214 exhibitors from around the world.

According to organisers, at least 35 countries are represented.

Some of those, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Singapore, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Estonia, the Virgin Islands and the Czech Republic, are participating for the first time.

The themes, products and technologies on display were not limited to military applications at Umex and SimTex.

Among the plentiful companies showing the potential of unmanned systems was Adnoc.

At Adnoc’s booth, one device in particular caught the eyes of those who walked by, a robot that climbed the wall with its wheels.

The particular device was described as a corrosion detector that Adnoc said could potentially be used on tanks, boilers, pressure vessel piping and more.

“We don’t have to worry about it falling off any assets,” said one of the demonstrators at Adnoc’s booth from Gecko Robotics, maker of the robot it calls the Toka 4.

“It’s able to be guided by remote control,” said the demonstrator. “You can imagine being able to run this from the outside, how much energy and resources that saves.”

Also on display was the Sulfabot, a robot collaboration project combining efforts from Adnoc and Khalifa University that would help to clean up sulphur dust in various locations.

“We’re hoping to speed up the cleaning process by 50 per cent,” said Waad Alameri, a senior specialist in digital architecture at Adnoc. “The idea is to use the robot to make it much safer.”

Khalifa University also had a large crop of unmanned systems and research projects on display that illustrated the broad applications of unmanned systems technology.

Those projects ranged from a self-drive vehicle to an unmanned underwater vehicle called a ZodiAq.

The eye-catching ZodiAq, with its 12 flagella-inspired arms was designed to resemble aquatic life, while at the same time allowing for real-time ocean monitoring with minimal impact on marine life.

Updated: January 23, 2024, 1:37 PM