When it comes to safe and sustainable transportation, car manufacturers across the globe are looking into new ways to make driving a lot safer and more accessible to riders. That is where Reem Al Marzouqi, a female Emirati engineer, and the first woman from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to have a patent for driverless cars registered in countries like Japan and the United States.
This patent is for Al Marzouqi's invention, the "Lower Extremity Vehicle Navigation Control System," a system that consists of a steering lever, an acceleration lever, and a brake lever. These are all controlled by foot, eliminating the need of a steering wheel. The patent was made possible with financial backing from Al Marzouqi's former university, the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), and acknowledged by a handful of UAE ministers who congratulated her for her accomplishment.
In fact, the concept for a driverless car came to mind when watching an interview on Inside Edition with Jessica Cox, the world's first licensed armless pilot. Having heard her story of struggling with driving a car using only her feet, Al Marzouqi got inspired to do something for people like Cox, hence her hands-free navigation system.
Al Marzouqi is also known for her other inventions such as Mozo, a teddy bear aimed to help autistic children with their communication skills, and inventing a new duplicate detection systems for the Abu Dhabi Airport Company that can avoid damage to cargoes.
For the 2021 edition of the James Dyson Awards, a platform fostering the creative spirit of aspiring graduates and undergraduates, Al Marzouqi joined fellow Emiratis as judge panels. They included Dr. Ali Hilal Alnaqbi, inventor of the bio-artificial liver, and Suaad Al Shamsi, UAE's first female aircraft engineer. So far, the James Dyson Awards have hosted participants with winning concepts and real-life solutions ranging from green energy to affordable healthcare and managing of plastic wastes and water supply.