Over the last few years, we’ve seen plenty of progress being made with autonomous cars, self-driving vehicles and even pilotless air taxis. Now, Dubai’s RTA has taken another step towards getting the initiative off the ground.
As we move another step closer, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has revealed a new set of rules over trialling self-driving vehicles.
While Dubai has the objective of having 25 per cent of all trips being conducted by self-driving vehicles by 2030, of course, it’s about doing so safely.
Global studies suggest that the benefits of Self-driving transport (SDT) could be huge ranging from highway safety benefits to reduced parking costs, reduced mobility costs, environmental benefits, improved productivity, and improved quality of life and citizen happiness. In Dubai, it is estimated that these benefits of SDT would be valued at more than AED 22 Billion per year.
“The legislation enacted provides for individuals, firms and public entities intending to carry out trials on autonomous vehicles in Dubai to conclude contracts with RTA,” said CEO of the Public Transport Agency and Chairperson of the Smart and Sustainable Transport Committee for RTA, Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan.
It means that there will be new rules of the roads, where a set of stipulations will come into place to govern where, how fast and when test runs of self-driving cars and vehicles can take place.
A major hurdle in the rollout and adoption of this next-generation technology is making sure the city and its roads remain safe during trials, refinement of the tech and its implementation.
RTA’s announcement shows that there’s now one less concern over its adoption.
Dubai’s Next Big Thing
The ongoing trend would vary with the degree of autonomy that would rest with the vehicle driving itself on the road. According to the Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index Report by KPMG, with the third most positive consumer opinions on Autonomous vehicles, the UAE showcases strength in the consumer’s acceptance of the trending market change. The highlights include:
- The fact that Dubai, the UAE’s largest city and the government’s work undertaken to improve the work quality and change readiness on the technological infrastructure front. Various government initiatives that encourage the changing trend have been highlighted.
- It quotes that Dubai, as the largest city in the UAE, endeavours to comprise 25 percent of all transportation autonomous by 2030. This comes based on their strategy launched in 2016, which focuses on environmental and productivity increases.
- “In September 2016, Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority trialled an AV shuttle on a 700m route, offering free rides to commuters.”
- It also points to Dubai’s aim to generate AED22 billion ($US6 billion) annually. There has been huge appraisals on the government’s ability to perform better for autonomous cars adoption and the future-readiness taking into account Dubai’s passion for technological innovations and its ventures into artificial intelligence and blockchain.
The authorities envision the future of mobility in the region with a planned roadmap defined for the purpose. Dubai is preparing itself for the future of public transport, getting into partnerships with several vital players and having introduced the first-of-its-kind guidebook on automated vehicles, a few years back in 2018. The UAE’s steps in the right direction to adapt to technological changes and smart innovations speaks volumes in their attitude towards the autonomous future of the region’s transport system.
Meanwhile, e-parking metres are being rolled out across the emirate in the RTA’s latest initiative.