Dubai seeks firms for autonomous vehicle project

06 February 2017

Competition aims to attract world’s leading technology experts

Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) is seeking consultancy firms to advise in organising a competition for the world’s top autonomous vehicle (AV) technology management and development companies to showcase present their AV expertise.

The competition is expected to lead the best among these companies to implement an AV trial in the emirate, according to a source familiar with the transaction.

Firms that are understood to have submitted an offer for the contract include Atkins and Arup, both of the UK.

The RTA and Dubai Properties, a real estate developer, have extended the trial run for the 10-seater driverless vehicle deployed at the Business Bay until 22 February.

The vehicle, which travels at 10 kilometres per hour, has transported over 1,500 riders over a 600-metre long track since the trial run started in November last year.

According to the RTA, the vehicle is designed to move within closed internal roads in areas such as residential districts and entertainment venues. It is equipped with four-direction global positioning system (GPS) and laser sensors that enable it to spot any object that could obstruct its way  from 40 metres away.

Two previous trial runs were held at the Dubai World Trade Centre and Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, the latter in coordination with real estate developer Emaar.

The trial runs were 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 has said in November that it is considering a broader deployment of autonomous vehicles along with establishing the legal structures required in operating them.

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