It was perhaps fitting that the announcement be made in the most modern of mediums – social media. This week first on Twitter, then on LinkedIn, is Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched a new strategy that would see smart driverless vehicles take over the roads of the Emirate. The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy aims to save US$6 billion in annual economic revenues by reducing transportation costs, carbon emissions and accidents, and raising the productivity of individuals as well as saving hundreds of millions of hours wasted in conventional transportation. The metro network in the city-state is already automated, and now they plan to expand this further.
The emirate believes the strategy will help cut transportation costs by 44 per cent and help reduce environmental pollution by 12 per cent, as well increasing the efficiency of the transportation sector in Dubai by 2030. They also have produced the figure that it will increase productivity by individuals by 13 per cent and save people up to 396 millions of hours wasted during travel on roads yearly. He indicated that the strategy will also contribute to reducing road accidents, and their associated economic losses, by 12 per cent, saving Dh2 billion a year. The Metro in Dubai has been driverless from its launch in 2009.
On LinkedIn, Al Maktoum added; “We’ve also launched the Autonomous Transportation Challenge, the world’s biggest RFP to global R&D centers to apply this technology in Dubai. Dubai offer’s a global unique model for the city of the future & turns itself to the world largest R&D lab for driverless transportation.”
This week’s 2nd MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition 2016 taking place in Dubai, and organized by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai under the theme Urban Mobility: Think Big, Act Smart, featured the trial run debut of the autonomous (driverless) vehicle with a capacity for 10 riders produced by Easy Mile/Omnix Company.
The vehicle is designed to travel short distances on pre-programmed routes and under multiple environments. The vehicle travels on virtual routes, which can easily be reset to accommodate sudden changes as required. The vehicle is fitted with all safety requisites & controls specifying its planned route, and the sensor system as well as the intelligent system of the vehicle enable coping with any obstacles encountered en-route to avoid collision.
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