Doha, Qatar: Aiming to provide smart, and environmentally conscious transit systems, Minister of Transport H E Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti yesterday launched Autonomous Vehicles Strategy.

The Autonomous Vehicles Strategy features the execution of a plan over the coming five years to regulate the terms and conditions of using such vehicles in Qatar.

The strategy was launched at the inauguration of Ministry of Transport’s “Sustainable Transportation and Legacy for Generations” Conference and Exhibition at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.

The two-day event is being held under the patronage of Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.

Minister of Interior and Commander of Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya) H E Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank H E Sheikh Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saoud Al Thani, Minister of Municipality H E Dr. Abdulla bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie, Minister of Commerce and Industry H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Thani, Minister of Communications and Information Technology H E Mohammed bin Ali Al Mannai, and other officials attended the inauguration ceremony.

“The e-bus operation neared 70% by Q3 of 2023, moving at a steady speed to transform 100% of public bus system to electricity by 2030."

“This is in step with the goals of Qatar’s National Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the pillars of QNV2030,” said the Minister, adding Qatar’s investments in developing the infrastructure projects and the transportation sector’s support services came in implementation of the directives of H H the Amir and resulted in Qatar having an integrated, connected, and sustainable transit system.

He said that the Ministry is currently working on studying the standards and specifications of electric vehicles (EVs), in conjunction with the bodies concerned, in order to put and approve the minimum technical specifications and safety standards of EVs, in addition to establishing a center for inspecting and verifying EVs’ specifications conformity and issuing approval certificates required.

On maritime transportation, he said: “The advanced infrastructure and technologies deployed at Hamad Port contributed to transforming the port to a regional hub port for re-exportation and transshipping.”

“Al Ruwais Port continues its key role revitalising regional trade exchange after undergoing significant enhancements and establishing new quays. The work is underway to finalize the 3rd phase of the port’s development plan, including deepening and enlarging its navigation channel and basin to increase its capabilities, thereby keeping up with ever-increasing ship traffic and importation and exportation operations.”

He said that the maritime transportation sector continues bolstering its overseas investments through QTerminals, which is now present at several world ports and in the Netherlands in the future.

Speaking of air transportation, he said: “Over 26,500 aircraft movements were recorded at both Hamad International Airport and Doha International Airport during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Moreover, the two S-band radar system and long-rang L-band radar have started operation, supporting Qatar’s full management of its Doha Flight Information Region (FIR), which is a milestone in airspace management.”

Al Sulaiti said the number of air transportation agreements signed with world countries has reached 175, giving the national carrier access to larger opportunities to expand its network of global destinations. The Minister of Transport accompanied the attending ministers and officials on a tour in the accompanying exhibition where some of the latest sustainable transportation technologies and innovations are on display. He also witnessed the signing ceremonies of several agreements by some of the participating entities.

Day One of the Conference featured 3 panel discussions. The first, “Switching to Electric, Sustainable Transportation…Future Prospects” was attended by speakers from the MoT, Kahramaa, and Msheireb Properties. The second, “Public Transportation…Multimodal & Integrated” featured speakers from the MoT, Qatar Rail and Mowasalat (Karwa). The third, “Private Sector’s Active Engagement in Developing the Transportation System” hosted speakers from Fusion, Leonardo Qatar, and GBM.

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