Dubai maps out strategy towards driverless future

Dubai - The self-driving transport strategy is inclusive of all mass transit modes such as trains, buses, marine transit modes and taxis



By Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 10 Jun 2017, 10:27 PM

Last updated: Sun 11 Jun 2017, 12:29 AM

By 2030, 25 per cent of the total mobility journeys in Dubai will be converted into self-driving journeys, thanks to a new strategy which has just been approved by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
On Saturday, Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, approved the authority's 'self-driving transport strategy'. Once implemented, it will be instrumental in reducing mobility costs, improving traffic safety and curbing pollution by cutting carbon emissions in the city.
Aligned with Dubai's smart transport strategy, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the new strategy will boost the city's transition into becoming a self-driving hub.
With "several attributes that set it a class apart from other strategies", Al Tayer said it will be powered by a government entity, not the private sector, as is the case in many other cities around the world.
The self-driving transport strategy is inclusive of all mass transit modes such as trains, buses, marine transit modes and taxis, as well as private vehicles.
And a global contest between companies, which have made significant advancements in the field of smart transport, will also be announced at a later date, he said.
"High-definition e-maps will be developed to avail the use of technologies and beat geographical and climatic conditions," Al Tayer said.
Additionally, the recently opened Enterprise Command and Control Center (EC3) will play a pivotal role in providing real-time and accurate information.
The RTA strategy will help in assisting the planning of journeys to multiple destinations using gadgets and smartphones and will be instrumental in reducing mobility costs, improving traffic safety, and curbing pollution by cutting carbon emissions.
The RTA has already reaped some of the benefits associated with the self-driving transport through the driverless Dubai Metro, Al Tayer said. When compared to traditional rail systems, the Dubai Metro's compliance with journey timetables is higher by 6.4 per cent, and runs at an operational cost lower by 7 per cent.
How the strategy will be realised
The RTA is seeking to introduce an array of enablers to realise this strategy:
> Enacting legislations and rules for self-driving transport
> Enhancing public adaptability to this technology
> Developing conditions and regulations for testing and licensing of self-driving vehicles
> Chalking up a structure for insurance and liability
> Developing a structure for e-security along with a technology-driven communication system to ensure effective communication between vehicles


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