Police can control the robot (above) remotely
Police can control the robot (above) remotely

Mini autonomous police cars paired with companion drones and facial recognition technology will begin patrolling the streets of Dubai by the end of the year to help the city identify and track down criminal suspects.

This week's announcement by city officials comes as Dubai races to reshape the future of its law enforcement.

But, don't expect a high-speed chase from the little cars. In demonstrations, the robot never appears to move beyond a strolling pace. But, the four-wheeled security vehicle comes with a built-in aerial drone that can surveil areas and people that the robot can't reach.

Named the O-R3, the patrol car can navigate on its own using machine-learning algorithms. Police can control the robot remotely from behind a computer dashboard. The vehicle also comes equipped with thermal imaging, and licence plate readers. The manufacturer, Singapore-based OTSAW Digital, claims the car and drone duo as the first of its kind.

The Dubai police force and OTSAW said the robots aren't intended to replace human officers, but to better manage resources and manpower. OTSAW said the vehicles can recharge themselves and operate around the clock.

Last month, Dubai recruited the world's first police bot, tasked not with dispensing weaponised justice but with the more modest assignment of monitoring tourist attractions.

The robot, dubbed Robocop, speaks English and Arabic and soon will speak four, officials said.

25 Total percentage of robots in Dubai's police force by 2030