The academy will be part of a new factory and R&D facility at Dubai Silicon Oasis
The Middle East’s first car manufacturer, Dubai-based W Motors, is opening the region’s first automotive academy in the city in 2021, where students will be trained by robots and taught in virtual reality (VR) classes, according to company founder and CEO.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Ralph Debbas said the academy, which will be part of a new factory and research and development facility in Dubai Silicon Oasis, will offer students automotive education, which “doesn’t exist” in the Middle East.
“In our field, [education] still doesn’t exist [in the region]. We have people coming in for internships because they can’t find a decent mechanical engineering or automotive design internship which doesn’t exist…” he said.
Debbas added that robots will train students at the academy to assemble cars within as fast as a week.
“We’re getting robots to train people... you put on a VR mask and it teaches you how to assemble [cars]. We’re getting robots to train people within a week. Let’s say you have car assembled in front of you, you put on a VR mask and it teaches you how to assemble each part. So you’re learning and you’re doing. Within a week, you’ll get used to the process and become expert just by having VR teach you”, he said.
Debbas plans to build a “full ecosystem” by 2021, where he will train and export talent from the UAE to the world, he said “which has never been seen before”.
W Motors is known for making multi-million dollar cars including the $3.4m Lykan Hypersport, which featured in American action film Fast & Furious 7 in the famous scene that saw it crash through Abu Dhabi’s talent skyscrapers Etihad Towers.
The company also boasts an electric car making division called Iconiq, which it launched in partnership with a Chinese firm to create level 4 and 5 autonomous cars.