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Inclusive, 'positive-energy' roads eyed at World Road Congress 2019

Disability-friendly road transport, autonomous vehicles, and renewable technologies were discussed at the Abu Dhabi event

Road development is a priority in the UAE [representational image].
Road development is a priority in the UAE [representational image].

The third day of the 26th World Road Congress 2019, which is being held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) on 6-10 October, highlighted disability-inclusive road transport, electric cars, autonomous vehicles, and ‘positive-energy’ roads.

During the first keynote session, global director of the transport global practice at World Bank Group, and regional director of World Bank's south Asian infrastructure department, Guangzhe Chen, said rural and urban connectivity would drive the need for sustainable investment in the transport industry.

Urging transport infrastructure planners and engineers to support inclusivity, director of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs' division for inclusive social development, Daniela Bas, said: “Building accessible roads is a matter of justice and common sense, as well as investing in the future. Inclusion is not only a legal obligation – it is also an economic and social imperative that we need work together for.”

Technological innovation in the road and transport industry was a topic of discussion on Day 3 of World Road Congress, with director general of International Road Federation, Susanna Zammataro, calling on the public and private sectors to work together to plan infrastructure that brings automated vehicles on the roads.

Sessions at World Road Congress also delved into electric roads systems equipment; opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through electric cars; the integration of driverless cars with regular traffic; the generation of renewable energy in the highway environment; and technologies that could contribute to ‘positive energy roads’.

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