His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Smart Dubai strategy in May 2014. The strategy is meant to make Dubai the smartest city in the world in a period of just three years and includes over 100 initiatives and the conversion of over 1000 government services to smart services. In keeping with this forward looking approach and global trends in the transportation and technology sectors, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy on the opening day of the MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition that was held last month. This strategy will considerably change the face of the automotive sector in Dubai.
The unveiling of the strategy involved the release of a 55 second video produced by the Dubai Future Foundation that visualizes how public transport in Dubai will look by 2030. Provided all goes as planned, the goal is to make at least 25 per cent of all transportation trips in the emirate smart and driverless. The Roads and Transport Authority and Dubai Future Foundation will be working together on this project to make Dubai a really futuristic city.
Strategies like these will bring Dubai up to par with really advanced countries like United Kingdom, France and Switzerland that are already testing autonomous cars on public roads. They will also pave the way to making the city more sustainable as electric cars with smart features will help motorists save fuel and reduce carbon emissions. A team from the RTA is already working on identifying the latest developments, standards and specifications in this sector and the safety legislation that might be needed in view of the question of liability. The organization has also approached several manufacturers of smart vehicles in a bid to conduct real-life tests under RTA’s supervision to determine the feasibility of using these vehicles
In line with the dictum “adapt or perish”, the line between the technology and automotive industries is blurring as automotive companies are increasingly collaborating with technological startups to work on smart driverless vehicles. Companies that are currently working on driverless cars include leading brands like Ford, Nissan and Audi. Ford has acquired a sizable stake in Pivotal, a software company to strengthen its connected vehicle experience for customers while Nissan has announced plans for fully autonomous vehicles by 2020.
The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy will ensure that Dubai is right upto speed with the latest developments in automotive technology. With the advent of driverless vehicles, getting a driving license as a rite of passage will soon become a thing of the past.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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