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Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy adopted as first of its kind initiative in the world aimed at achieving AED 22 billion in annual economic savings

April 24, 2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched today the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, which aims to transform 25% of the total transportation in Dubai to autonomous mode by 2030, yielding AED 22 billion in annual economic savings.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said: “Dubai is leading the cities of the world by taking a big leap in the adoption of artificial intelligence to serve humanity and establish a global model of the city of the future as we aim to become the world’s largest laboratory for technology and research and development (R&D). Today we put forward clear and precise goals for Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, making it one of the main pillars to achieve a sustainable economy for the emirate.”

His Highness added: “Our goal is to make the UAE a global source of the future for various sectors, including smart cities, clean energy, autonomous transportation, sustainable infrastructure and legislation for the future.” Stressing that future technology will restructure economies and transform the global competitiveness balance, His Highness called for proactive efforts to take advantage of the emerging situation.

His Highness said: “This strategy complements a series of other accomplishments, and is associated with the launch of Dubai Clean Energy Strategy last November, as well as the second phase of the largest solar energy complex in the world. We want to make Dubai a sustainable place to live in, to enable future generations to enjoy the finest smart services within a sustainable environment. Today we are placing a new component of the city of the future, represented in a transportation system based on autonomous technology.”

HE Sheikh Mohammed said: “Twenty-five per cent of Dubai’s transportation will be autonomous by 2030 to make people’s lives easier, and increase the productivity of individuals and preserve our natural resources and environment.”

His Highness continued: “We have moved from ‘foreseeing the future’ to the stage of ‘creating the future’. The eyes of the whole world are set on our country as we forge ahead of others in the world in the use of technology to improve key sectors related to human life, and adapt innovation and new technologies in various areas of work and life.”

His Highness also announced the launch of Dubai World Autonomous Transportation Challenge to encourage the world’s most innovative international companies, academic institutions and centres of research and development to test the latest advances in this technology by providing transportations solutions and scenarios that are realistic and tailored for the streets of Dubai.

“The UAE is characterized by its ambitious outlook to achieve leadership and set the benchmark in everything that serves humanity and facilitates a better life. We have had successful experiences in creating various platforms, and have become, in a short period, a global centre for future technology such as drones, robots and artificial intelligence. Today we launch the Dubai World Autonomous Transportation Challenge for companies, R&D centres and academic institutions to expedite the transfer of this technology from the laboratory to its real application in the city of Dubai.”

First strategy of its kind in the world to yield AED 22 billion in annual economic savings
The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy is expected to bring AED 22 billion in annual economic savings in several sectors 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 strategy will help cut transportation costs by 44%, resulting in savings of up to AED 900 million a year. It will also help save AED 1.5 billion a year by reducing environmental pollution by 12%, as well as generate AED 18 billion in annual economic returns by increasing the efficiency of the transportation sector in Dubai by 20%.

Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy also aims to reduce traffic accidents and losses by 12%, equivalent to savings of AED 2 billion annually, and increase the productivity of individuals by 13%. It will save 396 million hours on transportation trips yearly. It will also reduce the spaces allocated for parking.
The Strategy features four main pillars: Individuals, Technology, Legislative Structure, and Infrastructure.

Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy will support the establishment of infrastructure for the new technologies based on the best future standards, and study the readiness of established autonomous transport systems.

This pillar will focus on studying the autonomous experiences within the aspects of different means of transportation in Dubai in addition to achieving global leadership in the application of autonomous systems within the current and future means of transportation. It will also encourage research and development activities in the field of autonomous systems in collaboration with global companies, R&D centres and academic institutions inside and outside the UAE. It aims to promote global partnerships with technology providers and manufacturers of vehicles as well as insurance companies and other entities related to the transportation field.

Legislative Structure
The strategy supports setting up legislation for development of autonomous transportation, in the first initiative of its kind in the world. The strategy will also identify models and means of autonomous transportation which will be allowed in the emirate, in addition to reviewing and strengthening policies to represent a global reference point for other global cities interested in the application of autonomous systems.

The strategy will promote national capacities by establishing a Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Transportation Systems to build national expertise and attract researchers and specialists in the field of autonomous transportation technology. It will also build a knowledge-based content to promote awareness on the importance of autonomous transportation through conferences, workshops and publications. In addition, it will work on managing a change in mindsets by encouraging the use of autonomous transportation.
The main sectors identified for the application of the strategy are: autonomous metro, autonomous buses, autonomous taxis, in addition to other autonomous transportation means used in the first and final stages of trips. The concept of autonomous transportation will also be applied in commercial areas, residential complexes and parks across the emirate.

Dubai Global Autonomous Transportation Challenge
Dubai Global Autonomous Transportation Challenge will be a global platform in which companies, R&D centres, manufacturers of vehicles and technology companies will compete in order to apply the concept of autonomous transportation in Dubai within two main tracks:
The first track: This track features ‘Last Mile Transportation’, which will transfer the passenger from metro stations in the emirate to a group of nearby destinations, to increase the attractiveness of public transportation.
The second track: This track will use autonomous buses within specific neighbourhoods to move people between specific destinations such as shops, schools, clinics and service centres.

70% of Dubai’s residents prefer to use autonomous transportation
According to studies conducted by the World Economic Forum, while 58% of the population of major cities prefers to use autonomous transportation, the figure goes up to 70% in the case of Dubai as residents have expressed preference for such transportation systems citing potential for increased productivity and elimination of the need for searching parking spaces.
The study was conducted in partnership with RTA and Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation in 10 countries: the UAE, the United States, China, India, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, United Kingdom, France and Japan.