UAE: Chinese, Russian firms win RTA’s 
self-driving vehicle challenge

Applicants from 20 countries were shortlisted for a chance to win the grand prize of $1.7 million


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 27 Oct 2021, 7:55 PM

China’s Neolix and Russia’s Yandex were declared winners of the second edition of the self-driving transport competition hosted by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) during the Dubai World Congress for self-driving transport on Wednesday.

As part of the competition, the self-driving vehicles underwent on-site tests. such as overtaking a parked vehicle, a scooter and a dummy pedestrian; pedestrian crossing; crossing an obstructed path; testing the vehicle under various climate conditions; child pedestrian crossing; driving on a covered walkway, driving over a speed bump; emergency braking and accuracy of taking-off and landing of drones in Dubai.

In the UAE universities category for robots, Khalifa University Abu Dhabi bagged the first prize, while American University of Sharjah came second.

In the drones category, New York University Abu Dhabi bagged first prize, while Khalifa University Abu Dhabi came second.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline and Group, and chairman of Dubai Airports, presented the awards to the winners.


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A total of 31 applications from 20 countries were submitted and 13 of them were shortlisted for a total prize of $1.7 million. Around $1.4 million was allocated for the pioneers and $300,000 for the universities in the UAE.

In addition to Neolix and Yandex, other shortlisted pioneers include Italy’s Lifetouch, Taiwan’s iAuto, Kiwibot from the South Africa and Arti from Austria.

The next edition of the competition will be held in 2023 with a focus on self-driving buses.

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