driverless vehicles
RTA enacts legislation as the trial run of driverless vehicles in Dubai is set to start. Photo for illustrative purpose only.

Dubai: Finalists for the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport in the categories of Leading Companies and Academic Institutions were revealed on Saturday.

The finalists were selected based on several criteria, including credibility, vision, innovation, skills and relevant experience as well as the commercial operability, value-added, and the relevance to the needs of Dubai and the UAE.

In the next stage, the efficiency of projects and initiatives of qualified local companies and academic institutions will be tested at the testing site of Dubai Silicon Oasis. Tests will be held sometime next year. The results of these tests will be decisive in reaching the final selection of the winners.

Mattar Al Tayer

Mattar Mohammad Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), announced that 13 local and global organisations had qualified for the finals of the second edition of the challenge, devoted to self-driving logistics services, including ground transport and drones.

“Albeit the challenges forced by COVID-19 worldwide, the second edition has seen an increase in the number of submissions received. About 31 nominations have been received under Leading Companies and Academic Institutions categories, which exceeds the target by 200 per cent,” said Al Tayer.


Following the decision of the international judges’ panel chaired by Dr Stephen Schladover, an international expert and chair of the judges’ panel of the challenge, seven global companies have qualified for the final stage of the challenge in the category of Leading Companies, namely: Neolix from China, Life Touch from Italy, and DG World from United Arab Emirates, Arti from Austria, Twins Wheel from France, Yandex from Russia, and Kiwi Bot from the United States of America, he added.


Meanwhile, six local universities have qualified for the finals: New York University Abu Dhabi, Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Rochester Institute of Technology in Dubai, American University of Sharjah, University of Sharjah and the University of Dubai.

“This global competition aims to expand the use of driverless transport across many fields and encourage leading companies in this particular field to tackle the existing mobility challenges, such as the first and last-mile, traffic congestions, and the low public transport ridership. Self-driving transport has become a key pillar of RTA’s strategy, and we are determined to achieve our goals through a host of creative initiatives capable of making self-driving transport a reality on the ground in Dubai,” said Al Tayer.

Logistical services

“Designating Self-Driving Logistics Services as a theme for the second edition of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport stems from RTA’s endeavours to support the logistical sector in Dubai. Studies indicated that Dubai hosts about 6,000 shipping/forwarding companies. About 64,000 trucks of various sizes make about 306,000 trips per day, accounting for about 13 per cent of the total daily mobility trips in Dubai,” he added.

Strong participation

Ahmad Hashim Bahrozyan

“Since its announcement, the second edition of the challenge attracted massive interest from a wide range of international institutions expressing their intent to make submissions and showcase their projects and initiatives in the field of self-driving transport," Ahmad Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO, Public Transport Agency, RTA; Chairman of the Organising Committee, Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport

He said that the RTA is thrilled to organise this contest in partnership with leading bodies to achieve the goal of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport.