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RTA approves Dubai’s self-driving transport strategy

HE Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman, Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has approved a plan that aims to convert 25 percent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into self-driving journeys by 2030.

The strategy, according to RTA, is 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.

“RTA’s Self-driving Transport Strategy has several attributes that sets it a class apart from other strategies,” said HE Al Tayer. “First, the transition to self-driving in Dubai is powered by a government entity whereas it is the private sector that drives this transition in many other cities and countries. Secondly, Dubai’s strategy is inclusive of all mass transit modes such as trains, buses, marine transit modes and taxis, as well as private vehicles, while many countries focus on a limited number of transit modes. Additionally, RTA’s strategy includes a global contest between companies, which have made significant advancements in the field of smart transport that would be announced later on.”

HE Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman, Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)

The RTA chairman highlighted that to realize the objectives of this strategy, RTA is seeking to introduce an array of enablers that would be developed in a parallel manner. They include 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, and addressing the requirements of infrastructure.

“Enablers also include developing a structure for e-security along with a technology-driven communication system to ensure effective communication and interaction between vehicles as well as safe and smooth transport for all. High-definition e-maps would also be developed to avail the use of technologies and beat geographical and climatic conditions,” said Al Tayer.

The success of the Dubai Self-driving Transport Strategy rests on several drivers highlighted by the availability of comprehensive and accurate information and sharing them effectively, according to HE Al Tayer.

He mentioned that the recently opened Enterprise Command and Control Center (EC3) would play a pivotal role in providing real-time and accurate information. “Research and Development (RandD) also contributes to the success of the Dubai Self-driving Transport Strategy,” he said. “Therefore, RTA had forged effective partnerships with renowned global entities and varsities, and entered in consortiums with global universities and research centres for commissioning research in self-driving transport capable of addressing futuristic requirements.”

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