UAE: F1 to reduce carbon emissions during major events

Formula One’s governing body has joined forces with the Middle East’s first-ever MIT Senseable City Lab in Dubai to research new sustainable mobility solutions

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Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 8 Dec 2023, 9:18 AM

Formula One’s governing body has joined forces with the Middle East’s first-ever MIT Senseable City Lab in Dubai to research new sustainable mobility solutions for major events in the UAE.

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Senseable Dubai Lab will partner in studying improved sustainable mobility patterns to reduce the carbon footprint of events in the country.

“We are delighted to support this exciting new research project, in collaboration with MIT Senseable City Lab,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of FIA, the governing body for world motorsport, including Formula One.

While positively contributing to tourism and the local economy, major events have a significant impact on their host cities, diverting traffic, challenging public transportation, increasing congestion, and, as a result, greenhouse gases and other particulates and pollutants emissions. Improving mobility solutions to access these events has become a challenge.

As part of the MIT Senseable Dubai Lab, a joint initiative by MIT Senseable Lab and the Dubai Future Foundation, researchers working on the project will gather data to build a picture of city-wide mobility patterns around major UAE events, including the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

This data could be used to suggest improvements to local mobility planning, including traffic management and public transport, and better access to these events, ultimately reducing congestion and carbon emissions.

“This comes at a moment of enormous growth for the UAE, and we look forward to joining forces with our stakeholders to make major events eco-friendlier, efficient, and enjoyable for attendees through enhanced mobility solutions,” Ben Sulayem underlined.

The FIA and MIT will work with relevant stakeholders like Formula One management, the Yas Marina Circuit, and local governments, which will play a key role in data collection efforts and future implementation.

Umberto Fugiglando, research manager and partnerships lead at MIT Senseable City Lab, noted: “We are proud to welcome the FIA to join our MIT Senseable Dubai Lab, where together with their stakeholders, they will support our research on urban sustainable mobility in the UAE.”

In the future, the FIA and MIT will share their findings and lessons learned with other cities, event organisers, and FIA members, ultimately improving sustainability outcomes around mobility globally.

“In a region where cities are evolving very fast, we have the possibility to study urban mobility at large, and scientifically explore and anticipate future paradigms that need to be more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable,” Fugiglando added.

Presented at the Dubai Future Forum 2023, the initiative has been promoted at the ongoing COP28 as part of the FIA’s commitment to improving sustainable mobility and reducing the environmental impact of motorsport.

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