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Final tests of Dubai World Challenge for self-driving transport conducted

Staff Reporter/Dubai
Filed on September 21, 2021
File Photo

Testing extended for 6 weeks and covered three areas: university robots, university drones, and pioneers robots

The final tests of leading companies and academic institutions that had qualified for the second cycle of the Dubai World Challenge for self-driving transport were carried out recently. Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the board of executive directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), attended part of the tests.

This edition is devoted for self-driving logistics, including ground transport means, and drones. Tests were conducted at Dubai Silicon Oasis in the presence of Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, vice chairman and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA).

Al Tayer attended a briefing by Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency cum chairman of the organising committee of the Dubai World Congress for self-driving transport, and Khalid Al Awadhi, director of transportation systems cum chairman of the challenge team. The briefing shed light on tests conducted over six weeks at three key places namely university robots test track, university drones test area, and pioneers robots testing area.

The RTA charted out several scenarios that included tests in the presence of fixed and moving obstacles, and virtual ones. Participants were evaluated based on three key elements: the first: safety, which included reliability, visibility handling , interaction with pedestrians, and speed control. The second element was usability, which comprised speed, cargo safety and understandable behaviour. The third element was the level of maturity and included passing the scenario and operator interaction, path planning, detection and prediction.

Five companies participated in the tests of the pioneering company’s category: Neolix from China, ARTI from Austria, iAuto from Taiwan, Yandex from Russia, and Kiwi Bot from the United States of America. In the local university’s category, participants were New York University Abu Dhabi, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Rochester University of Technology in Dubai, American University of Sharjah, University of Sharjah and University of Dubai. Winners will be announced during the Dubai World Challenge for self-driving transport at the end of October.

Al Tayer expressed his pleasure at the great level of projects participating in the challenge and reaching an advanced stage in innovative technologies to provide self-driving logistics services. He stressed that the joint initiatives would open up broad horizons for the development of the logistics sector, through the use of autonomous ground transportation and drones.

“Holding the Dubai World Challenge for self-driving transport is part of RTA’s efforts to support Dubai strategy for self-driving transport launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aimed to transform 25 per cent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into journeys aboard self-driving transport means by 2030,” said Al Tayer.

“This global competition aims to expand the use of driverless transport at all levels and encourage leading companies and research institutions in this particular field to tackle the existing mobility challenges, such as the first and last-mile, congestions, and the low public transport ridership. Self-driving transport has become a key pillar of RTA’s strategy, and we are determined to achieve our goals through a host of creative initiatives capable of making self-driving transport a reality on the ground in Dubai,” added Al Tayer.

“Designating self-driving logistics services as a theme for the second edition of the Dubai World Challenge for self-driving transport stems from RTA’s endeavours to support the logistical sector in Dubai. Studies indicated that Dubai hosts about 6,000 shipping/forwarding companies. About 64,000 trucks of various sizes make about 306,000 trips per day, accounting for about 13 per cent of the total daily mobility trips in Dubai. The dispatch of shipments in the first and last-mile across the city is among the key services that impact the economy in general. Therefore, it is anticipated that new operation models or innovative vehicles will be developed for delivering goods in the first and last-mile in the near future,” he noted.

Dr Al Zarooni said: “Dubai is a global test lab, open for the world to pilot advanced technology and fourth industrial revolution solutions, as well as innovative artificial intelligence and smart transport. Dubai Silicon Oasis, as a technology and knowledge hub that drives innovation among the five urban centres of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, serves as a proof of concept for smart and sustainable transport for the future of Dubai and the UAE – hence our collaboration with the RTA in Dubai on the Dubai World Challenge for self-driving transport.”





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