The Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) has tested a Mercedes driverless car on the route between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

The test aimed to assess the car’s performance in real-life conditions.

During the test, the vehicle faced challenges such as hot weather conditions and the sudden braking and speed changes of other vehicles.

ESMA director-general Abdulla Abdulqader Al Maeeni reported the news to Khaleej Times during the Future Mobility Conference on 26 November.

Al Maeeni said: “We did it last month to know how it reacts when it is used in summer. We tested the vehicle on a regular environment of driving. We were driving on a normal road, not a testing track.

“We faced challenges that any kind of car would face: another car coming in front of you, braking in front of you, going higher and lower speeds. So, we were testing the reaction of the autonomous vehicle.”

The country has been testing autonomous vehicles (AVs) and working on the regulations associated with them to permit their use on roads.

ESMA has drafted a law for AVs that is expected to be adopted once reviewed by stakeholders.

The draft will be reviewed by government departments, manufacturers and car companies.

If the law is passed, the UAE will become the first country with regulations for self-driving vehicles.

The Emirates News Agency quoted Al Maeeni as saying that AVs could start operating on UAE roads by 2021.