The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in collaboration with Dubai Properties, has recently started the trial operation of autonomous vehicles, each capable of lifting 10 persons, within the Business Bay District over a 650 meter-long track. The step follows the success of the first and second phases of the trial operation of smart vehicles in the Dubai World Trade Center, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard.
“The Trial run of the smart vehicle in the Business Bay is the third-time experience following the successful first test run carried out in the Dubai World Trade Center, and the second trial in the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in coordination with Emaar,” according to Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA’s Licensing Agency cum Chairman of Smart Vehicles Committee.
“This trial is part of RTA’s plan to test the technologies & operation of autonomous vehicles under the climatic conditions of Dubai, educate community members about autonomous vehicles, and sensitize the people about Dubai Government’s strategy for smart vehicles aimed at converting 25% of total mobility journeys in Dubai to various types of driverless transit means by 2030. The practice also seeks to probe people’s perception about autonomous transport through a questionnaire to capture their views and satisfaction rating,” explained Bahrozyan.
“Autonomous vehicles have continued to accomplish their success proved by the sustained riders satisfaction rating derived from the experience at the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard coordinated between RTA and Emaar Properties from 1 September to 5 October this year where the overall satisfaction rating clocked 95%. The debut of autonomous vehicles experience in the Dubai World Trade Center last Ramadan yielded satisfaction rating of 92% according to inputs of two questionnaires conducted by RTA. Visitors were lifted over a month from ground car parks to the main restaurants, hotels and landmarks at the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard on the route of the vehicle. The result was concluded from a questionnaire probing the views of a wide spectrum of riders aged 20-40.
“The second questionnaire included elaborate questions that concluded to important results, namely 96% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the safety specifications, and 95% were interested in the deployment of the vehicle as a public transit means. About 69% of respondents were not concerned with the lack of driving control system, 62% were not concerned by the legal responsibility in case of an accident involving other vehicles, and 70% were not concerned with the mobility of the vehicle between pedestrians, private vehicles and bicycles. The questionnaire also indicated that 85% of respondents expected the technology to reduce vehicle accidents and increase road safety, and 88% believed the vehicle could result in reduced traffic congestion. About 92% thought that the vehicle could save fuel consumption, and 85% expected the insurance premium to drop in case of using this smart technology. The questionnaire covered public transport riders, private motorists, tourists, citizens and residents of the UAE and Dubai,” stated Bahrozyan.
“RTA is considering broadening the deployment of autonomous vehicles in other areas of Dubai including metro stations, malls and tourist spots. It is also working on drafting rules & legislations towards the implementation of the smart mobility strategy of the Emirate and 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 centers, residential complexes and parks,” he noted.
Dubai Properties expressed keenness on utilizing the advanced technologies and innovations under the smart mobility & autonomous vehicles initiative charted out by the Dubai Government. The company was delighted to introduce RTA’s autonomous vehicles to visitors and residents of the Bay Avenue to keep up with the rising customers’ expectations and offer them smooth and enjoyable experience.
The electric-powered smart vehicle is 100% environment-friendly and can travel up to 8 continuous hours. The vehicle can accommodate 10 riders (6 seated and 4 standing) and can travel at a speed of 10 km/h. It is designed to move within closed internal roads in areas such as residential districts, entertainment venues and the likes. It boasts of high safety and security standards as it is fitted with four-directional GPS System and uses laser sensors enabling it to spot any object 40 meters away. It can slowdown automatically once an object approaches in a range of two meters. If the object approaches less than two meters, the vehicle comes to a complete halt.
About The Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai
Since Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in today's world, making the provision of high quality infrastructure facilities absolutely imperative, and since providing an advanced transport network for the people of Dubai has been high on the government’s agenda, which is evident from its initiatives to enhance the public transport facilities and improve roads across the emirate to make travel safer and smoother.