Dubai: Dubai’s quest for futuristic transport solutions continues to hit higher gears as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announces a new Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, announced the world challenge during his participation at the recent LA CoMotion Congress in Los Angeles.

“The Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport promises to be the largest global platform for businesses and research and development centres to undertake scenarios and applications of this technology on Dubai roads,” said Al Tayer.

He added that international competition is aimed at encouraging leading industries of autonomous mobility to solve the existing problems such as traffic congestions, addressing low public transport ridership, tackling first and last mile challenges and broadening the scope of self-driving transportation.

The competition covers three main categories: Transporting People, Transporting Goods, and Innovation.

“Dubai is keen to predict and shape the future and improve mobility in the city. The RTA seeks to divert 25 per cent of all trips in Dubai to self-driving modes by 2030. In this regard, RTA’s Autonomous Mobility Strategy has been endorsed including all mass transit means,” he added.

He said that the RTA has already started implementing the Smart Mobility Strategy in various fields such as the Dubai Metro, which transports more than 650,000 riders per day, and the Dubai Tram, which includes some self-driving technologies.

Speaking about the future projects he said that the second phase of the Dubai Tram features trials of fully self-driving trams as well as self-driving vehicles and minibuses.

“The RTA will also explore self-driving BRT, and implementing first and last mile coverage initiatives in partnership with the private sector,” he added.

Highlighting the efforts of the RTA in upgrading the infrastructure of roads and transit systems in Dubai, Al Tayer said: “RTA has contributed to pushing Dubai to the next level by achieving the Number 1 ranking in the Quality of Roads for four successive years, while also managing savings of about $34 billion [Dh124.8 billion] worth of time and fuel costs that would have otherwise been wasted by traffic congestions between 2006 and 2016.”

He also pointed out the increase in public transport share from 6 per cent in 2006 to 16 per cent in 2016, where as the road accident fatality rate dropping from 22 per 100,000 population in 2006 to 3.5 per 100,000 population in 2016.

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