RTA Announces Dubai World Congress and Challenge for Self-Driving Transport

Press release
Published February 13th, 2018 - 12:51 GMT
During a press conference held at the sidelines of the World Government Summit.
During a press conference held at the sidelines of the World Government Summit.

Under the auspices of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, RTA will hold the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport in October 2019. The event, the first of its kind in the region and the Middle East, will take place in cooperation with Khalifa City and NewCities Foundation. The Congress aims to raise the public awareness of modern and future technologies of self-driving transport. It seeks to identify the impact of self-driving technology on investments and various transport strategies. Total prizes exceeding USD $5 million will be allocated for the Challenge.

An announcement to this effect was made by HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Chairman of the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport during a press conference held at the sidelines of the World Government Summit. Attendants included HE Dr. Arif Al Hammadi, Interim Executive Vice President of Khalifa University, Co-organizer of the Congress; HE John Rossant, Chairman of NewCities Foundation and Director of LA CoMotion Conference, Ms Laila Faridoon, Chair of the Organizing Committee of the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport, and Adel Shakeri, team leader of Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport.

“The organisation of this Congress is part of RTA’s efforts to support the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform 25% of total journeys in Dubai into autonomous journeys by 2030. It is also part of RTA’s efforts to enhance the leading role of Dubai Government in the field of self-driving transport,” said Al Tayer.

“The Congress will be a global platform for self-driving transport bringing together prominent experts, specialists, policy makers, technology manufacturers, researchers and academia. They will share views and visions in innovation and technologies of self-driving transport,” added Al Tayer.

Dubai Challenge

“During the Congress, RTA will award the winners of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-driving Transport, which was announced by the RTA during the LA CoMotion Congress in 2017. The Challenge is a global competition aimed at broadening the use of Self-driving Transport at all levels. It aims to encourage leading companies in this field to cope with the existing challenges such as traffic congestions, low public transport ridership, and the first and last-mile challenge, to ensure the travelling of riders to their final destinations,” noted Al Tayer.

“The Dubai World Challenge for Self-driving Transport is the first of its kind worldwide and the most sophisticated one. Most similar contests focused only on local suppliers and at a limited scale. The Dubai Challenge will be the largest global platform for companies, universities and R&D centres to roll out driverless transport scenarios and applications on Dubai roads.

“The Challenge, for which prizes in excess of USD $5 million are set, targets companies, startups and local and global Universities. Prize worth of $3 million will be set to leading companies category, and $1.5 million will be set for startups. $600,000 will be allocated to universities and academia ($300,000 for local and international universities apiece). Specialist international experts of smart mobility will assess and judge the winners on the basis of several technical criteria.

Global Challenge

HE Dr. Arif Al Hammadi, Interim Executive Vice President of Khalifa University, Co-organizer of the Congress, said, “Khalifa University strives to play a key role in advancing innovation in the robotics field, not just locally, but globally. Khalifa University is home to the region's top robotic research institute (KURI), which now has 25 robotics researchers, in addition to a range of other multi-disciplinary state-of-the-art research facilities including the Visual Signal Processing and Analysis (VSAP) Center and advanced labs across its campuses. The University has launched the USD $5M Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge Award to attract the brightest minds in robotics from all around the world.

“KU used to hold strategic partnerships with industrial bodies to transform the innovation in research into tangible, real-life applications that contribute to making the UAE a leader in advancing the future technologies, and self-driving. KU will create an expanded centre of excellence in robotics with potential for international impact in cooperation with a host of experienced researchers in robotics-related research activities within the three KU campuses, to create a Robotics centre of excellence in the UAE able to compete with the best labs in the world.

Innovative Solutions

HE John Rossant, Chairman of NewCities Foundation and Director of LA CoMotion Conference, said, “Dubai is one of the most innovative cities in the world and the most forward-looking city in terms of mobility. Dubai is also keen to predict and shape the future of urban mobility. The city is a leader in driving innovation, and there is no better example of this than the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport that starts this month.

“The Dubai World Challenge for self drivinv Transportation  offers a unique opportunity to showcase the pioneering innovations and solutions stemming from the Dubai and the United Arab Emirates to promote their vision and policies for transportation of tomorrow. Through attracting and engaging the most influential global experts to speak about the future of self-driving transport, we strongly believe this event will make Dubai a leading city in implementing and introducing self-driving transportation systems.

“Urban mobility is driving change in cities around the world, and the incredible rate of innovation in recent years has redefined our experience in urban areas. Advancements in urban transportation – from Mobility as a Service to autonomous vehicles – will transform the urban world as we know it. We believe that cities that move effectively – and equitably – will be the real power players and the mobility revolution is well underway,” he added.

Challenge Criteria

Participants will be pre-qualified based on certain elements including the status, credibility, future vision, skills and relevant expertise of the entity. Participants will then be assessed in different categories according to their performance in several tests based on the following criteria:

  • Technical Ability & Experience: Building vehicles, flexibility, battery technology, and the command & control system.
  • Business Dimension: Interoperability, value-added, offer and delivery, relevance to needs of Dubai and the UAE
  • Operation & Service: Innovative solutions, operational technique, ability to deliver services, and working hours.

Types of Tests

The Challenge has been designed for a group of participants who will be classified into three categories: Leading companies, startups and universities (local and foreign). The Challenge includes a series of tests related to:

  • Durability and reliability
  • Ability of driving under traffic conditions simulating the reality
  • Power efficiency and environmental relevance
  • Safety and e-security
  • User’s experience

Captions

Part of the press conference for announcing the details of the Congress and Challenge

Background Information

Roads and Transport Authority

Providing an advanced transport network for the people of Dubai was among the top priorities on the government’s agenda, a goal reflected by the initiatives to enhance the public transport facilities and improve roads across the emirate to make travel safer and smoother, thus the founding of The Roads and Transport Authority by the Decree No. 17 of 2005.


RTA plans and provides the requirements of transport, roads and traffic in Dubai, and between Dubai and other Emirates of the UAE and neighboring countries, in order to provide an effective and integrated transport system to achieve Dubai's vision and serve its vital interests.

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