Dubai plans broader roll-out of autonomous vehicles

13 November 2016

First two phases of trial operations completed

Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) is considering a broader deployment of autonomous vehicles along with establishing the legal structures required in operating these vechicles.

The RTA made this announcement as it enters the third phase of the trial operation for the autonomous vehicles in Dubai.

The trial operation has moved to a 650 metre-long track within the Business Bay District, a development of Dubai Properties.

This follows a month-long trial at the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard that was completed in October, and previously at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The test-trials are meant to test the technologies underpinning the autonomous car under Dubai’s climactic conditions while educating and sensitising the public about using the transport, the RTA said in a statement.

Part of the tests entails capturing the public’s perception about autonomous transport in terms of its impact on road safety and traffic congestion.

It is understood a more widespread deployment of the driverless vehicle could follow over the short term, in line with Dubai’s vision that a quarter of all journeys in the emirate will be converted into various types of driverless vehicles by 2030.

“The RTA is considering broadening the deployment of autonomous vehicles in other areas of Dubai, including metro stations, malls and tourist spots,” Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of the RTA’s licensing agency and chairman of the agency’s smart vehicles committee, said. "It is also working on drafting rules and legislations towards the implementation of the smart mobility strategy of the emirate.”

Bahrozyan said they are setting out “well-defined legal structures” covering the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh key aspects of the policy of using autonomous vehicles in the first and last mile stage, business centres, residential complexes and parks.

Emaar has previously said driverless vehicles will be used at its Dubai Creek Harbour development.

Some experts believe the widespread adoption of the autonomous vehicles have to be preceded by the adoption of smart roads or smart traffic management.

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