Exclusive: UAE company set to unveil first Level 5, 'steering wheel optional', fully autonomous car in the world

Iconiq Motors, the electric-vehicle sister operation of Dubai's W Motors, will reveal the car in Las Vegas in January

Iconiq Motors, the electric-vehicle sister operation of Dubai's W Motors, is set to become the talk of the automotive industry as the first company to reveal a Level 5 fully autonomous vehicle.

Developed under the (logical) title "L5", the vehicle will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, when its production model name will also be revealed.

What is Level 5?

Level 5 is the highest grade of autonomy for driverless vehicles, defined as "steering wheel optional" with "no human intervention required at all".

"The autonomous car is a very special project we've been working on locally here in the UAE," W Motors boss Ralph R Debbas told The National. "It's the first Level 5 fully autonomous vehicle, fully developed in the UAE as well, and electric.

"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 the likes of Tesla have been working on Level 5 autonomous technology, Debbas says that Iconiq is set to 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."

For more information on Iconiq Motors, visit its website.

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