A driverless vehicle on trial during the three-day public transport congress in Dubai Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ Gulf News

Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took to twitter on Monday to talk about the launch of a new strategy that would see smart driverless vehicles take over the roads of Dubai.

Driverless vehicle may cover last mile

On his personal twitter account, Shaikh Mohammad said that by 2030, 25 per cent of all transportation trips in Dubai will be smart and driverless, which comes as part of Dubai's strategy to become the smartest city in the world and achieve a sustainable economy in the UAE.

The tweets came following the announcement of a 10-seater driverless vehicle which is now on trial during the three-day Mena Congress of International Union of Public Transport (UITP) that began on Monday.

This is the first time an autonomous vehicle is on a trial run in Dubai on a pre-programmed route.

“Today we have adopted a strategy for self-driving transport.. By 2030, 25 per cent of all transportation trips in Dubai will be smart and driverless. The strategy is projected to generate economic revenues and savings of up to Dh22 billion a year” he said.



In a following tweet he mentioned how the strategy will contribute to increasing the efficiency of the transport sector and reducing congestion and pollution. “It will save people millions of hours wasted during travel and increase the productivity of individuals.”

He later said that when implemented, the strategy will reduce transportation costs by 44 percent or Dh900 million, saving Dh1.5 billion through reduction of environmental pollution, and Dh18 billion through raising efficiency of the transport sector by 20 percent.

It will increase productivity of individuals by 13 percent and save people up to 396 millions of hours wasted during travel on roads yearly. He indicated that the strategy will also contribute to reducing road accidents, and their associated economic losses, by 12 percent, saving Dh2 billion a year.

The project, he said, will be a joint venture between the Roads and Transport Authority and Dubai Future Foundation, the strategy focuses on four pillars: individuals, technology, policies and legislations and infrastructure.

“It will be the first project of the foundation to build a model of a futuristic city.”

Sheikh Mohammad said that they had also launched the Dubai World Challenge for self-driving transport, which he said would be the largest international tender for companies and research and development centres to implement scenarios and applications of this technology on Dubai roads.

''Dubai is leading cities of the world and making a qualitative paradigm shift to harness artificial intelligence in the service of the humanity and set a world unparalleled model for future cities, and is evolving into a global laboratory for technology and R&D."