Dubai: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is all set to embark on the practical tests programme for selecting winners of the Leaders Category of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport in collaboration with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) this August. Conducting the tests follows a preparatory phase that took place in June and July 2019.
The Challenge Awards are more than $5 million divided into three categories: Leaders of five companies from different countries, Startups and academia for university and college students.
Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSO) has allocated a route at the Oasis till September 9 to host the challenge for leading companies. The challenge includes a series of placement tests that relate to endurance and authenticity, and the ability to drive under traffic conditions simulative to reality such as water sprinklers, different sizes of road humps, sand blasting machines etc. DSOA also designated a light industrial unit for participants including an office space, meeting rooms, an area designated for tests and workshops.
“Practical tests for selecting winners of the challenge cover the ability to provide services that fulfil the needs of riders. The focus will be on First/Last Mile Challenge, which is the theme of the first edition of the challenge. Tests will also examine the ability and efficiency of vehicles to provide passenger services under the prevailing local environment and climatic conditions of Dubai,” said Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency and Chairman of Organising Committee of Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, RTA.
“Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has set a dedicated route and we worked with them in designing digital maps for carrying the test-runs required. The five companies, along with their teams and vehicles, are now in Dubai gearing up for participating in these tests next month. The five shortlisted companies are: NAVYA, EasyMile, GAUSSIN, Westfield, and 2getthere,” he added.
Bahrozyan praised the vintage cooperation between RTA and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority. He paid tribute to their commitment and partnership with RTA towards the success of the Challenge, which will take place for the first time in the world.
“RTA will design a volunteering programme to invite the academic institutions including universities, colleges and institutes to get engaged in testing the rides of self-driving vehicles on their dedicated routes at Dubai Silicon Oasis after the completion of the test-runs phase. The aim is to give them a feel of the ride and enable them to express their views on the experience. Winners of the three categories will be announced at the sidelines of the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport, which RTA will organise in October this year.
Engineer Muammar Al Katheeri, Executive Vice President of Engineering and Smart City at DSOA, said: “At DSOA, we have always been keen to support the initiative of transforming Dubai into the happiest and smartest city in the world. As a strategic partner of this initiative, we have successfully positioned ourselves as a pioneering proof of concept for several smart city solutions in Dubai.”
He added: “We are delighted to join forces with RTA on the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, supporting the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform 25 per cent of all transportation in Dubai into driverless mode by 2030.”
Engineer Muammar concluded: “Hosting the inaugural edition of the challenge, which has attracted creative minds from across the world to help disrupt the transportation industry for the better, aligns with DSO’s commitment to serving as a test bed for smart technologies as well as a hub for experts and leaders in the field of innovation.”