HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said that mobility concept would be bracing for a complete shakeup over the next few years. He cited a host of new future mobility trends and modes noting that researches had made considerable progress in self-driving transport and new transit means such as the Hyperloop, autonomous aerial vehicles and drones. He pointed to the mobility solutions currently underway involving the use of digital transport and artificial intelligence.
Al Tayer made these remarks during a speech he delivered in the session devoted to the future of transport during The Global Manufacturing & Industrialization Summit (GMIS) 2017, hosted by the Ministry of Economy in collaboration with the UNIDO.
“Self-Driving Transport will become a reality in 5 to 10 years as it is being continuously developed, and the self-driving technology is being tested in several places such as Dubai, Singapore, USA and Britain. Researches & tests of Self-Driving Transport started 25 years ago and succeeded in adding limited features to self-driving of some vehicles. But studies & technologies have gathered pace recently and managed to produce advanced contemporary models of driverless vehicles, trains and buses.
“Thanks to the far-sighted vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the close follow-up of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, a clear target was set. This target envisions converting 25% of total journeys in Dubai into journeys on Self-Driving Transport by 2030. Thanks to this visionary policy, Dubai has managed to thrust itself to the forefront of autonomous mobility worldwide. Accordingly, the Dubai Metro boasts of being the longest driverless metro network in the world; and now lifts more than 650 thousand riders per day. Phase II of the Dubai Tram, which is fitted with some driverless technologies, will witness the deployment of fully automated self-driving trams.
“An agreement has been signed with Tesla, a global leader in the manufacturing of self-driving electric vehicles, for the procurement of 200 electric vehicles fitted with several self-driving features to beef-up the limousine fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation. The RTA is studying the deployment of highway self-driving buses and taxis in collaboration with global firms. The RTA is commissioning studies with global businesses in the development of futuristic transit means including a feasibility study of the Hyper Loop technology. It is also considering initiatives for covering the first and last miles, and the provision of the appropriate infrastructure for electric & environment-friendly vehicles convertible to self-driving vehicles in future.
“Dubai is aspiring to play a leading role in this line of the industry by 2030 through a comprehensive smart self-driving mobility strategy with clear-cut targets. Such a strategy requires developing an apt legislative infrastructure, besides forging strategic partnerships with the private sector, research centers and specialist firms.
“The RTA is currently engaged in the development of the integrated mobility platform in Dubai rendering it one of the first cities to develop such a platform in the world. This platform enables customers access to all transit means in Dubai through a single window (smart app), and a unified Control Center linking all control centers run by RTA’s operational agencies.
“Dubai has started to reap some of the benefits of Self-Driving Transport as the punctuality of the Dubai Metro service has improved by 6.4% compared with conventional metro networks, and we expect that the Self-Driving Transport strategy to generate economic benefits to the worth of billions of dirhams every year. By 2030, futuristic mobility means are anticipated to reduce mobility cost by 45%, cut the demand for parking by 50%, and curb carbon emissions by 12%. It is also expected to cut short accidents and associated losses, and enhance the happiness rating of people as a result of the offering of new transit options,” said Al Tayer.