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Dubai RTA targets 25% driverless transport by 2030

UAE transport authority details ambitious plans to boost mass transport and autonomous mobility

The four-wheeled driverless EZ10 vehicle charged with shuttling visitors to the UITP MENA Congress.
The four-wheeled driverless EZ10 vehicle charged with shuttling visitors to the UITP MENA Congress.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced ambitious plans to deliver driverless mobility to 25% of the city’s population by the year 2030 at the recent UITP MENA Congress.

Despite the congestion issues in the region, the event also highlighted the major developments in public transport development projects across the region, including Riyadh’s commitment to some six metro and three Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines.

The UITP MENA event is held with the express intent of bringing together regional authorities with vehicle manufacturers, transport solution providers and emerging technology developers.

Eng. Khalid Al Hogail, chairman of UITP MENA and CEO of the Saudi Public Transport Company, said: “The big issue in the MENA region is that we have cheap oil, which has pushed against public transport for decades — but congestion is something we need to deal with whatever the oil price.”

The RTA itself has achieved a 215% increase in public transport usage in Dubai from 2006-2015, and as the city heads towards the Dubai Expo 2020, its investment into mass transportation will only increase.

Embodying RTA’s driverless mobility target was Easymile, which with local technology partner Omnix demonstrated a four-wheeled autonomous vehicle, the EZ10, at the entrance to the event.

The exhibition was also attended by all the major bus manufacturers, including Volvo Buses, MAN Truck & Bus, VDL, WrightBus and transports operator’s like France’s RATP Group.

The RATP Group has notably secured the project to implement, operate and maintain the first bus network in Riyadh, including 100 bus lines and three depots, in partnership with Saudi’s SAPTCO.

At the recent 61st UITP World Congress in Milan, Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the RTA, added that by 2020, the RTA’s plan expects the population of buses to grow to 2,000 buses — enough capacity for two million passengers per day.

For more on the UITP MENA event, click here.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019