The second edition of the ‘Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport’ will be held in 2021 under the theme ‘Self-Driving Logistics Services,’ covering ground transport, drones, and others, it was announced on Wednesday.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) launched the second edition at the closing ceremony of ‘Dubai World Congress and Challenge for Self-Driving Transport 2019’, in the presence of key officials of and representatives of participating companies.

RTA will start receiving submissions from March 2020 and winners will be announced in October 2021.

Al Tayer said: “More than 700 technology leaders and innovators were present and about 3,000 visitors toured the accompanying exhibition. The event was also marked by rich discussions and ideas spotlighting the future of self-driving transport technologies, improving the technological infrastructure, and developing legislation to govern self-driving transport.”

He added: “RTA received about 65 submissions from leading firms, start-ups as well as local and international universities. 15 participants made their way to the finals and seven were announced as winners of prizes totalling $5.1 million [around Dh19 million].”


“Dedicating the second edition of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport to self-driving logistics services stem from RTA’s endeavours to support the logistical sector in Dubai. Studies indicate that there are about 6,000 shipping companies in Dubai and more than 64,000 trucks of various loads; which generate about 306 thousand trips per day, thus accounting for about 13 per cent of total daily mobility trips in Dubai,” said Al Tayer.

“Commodity dispatch during the first and last-mile challenge in the city is amongst the top services with immense impact on the economy as a whole. Therefore, it is anticipated that new operation models or innovative vehicles will be developed for delivering goods in the first and last-mile in the near future.”

RTA is keen to broaden the scope of autonomous logistical services to cover several other elements such as ground transport and drones to unlock further potentials for leading companies participating in various categories of the challenge.

“Dubai Word Challenge for Self-Driving Transport is a key component in supporting RTA’s efforts towards realising ‘Dubai Smart Autonomous Strategy’ launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform 25 per cent of mobility journeys in Dubai into smart and self-driving modes by 2030,” said Al Tayer.

40 Workshops

Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency and Chairman of Smart and Sustainable Vehicles Committee, RTA, said: “The two-day congress held 40 workshops and seminars in which 80 global speakers delivered speeches about four key topics: legislation and laws, connected vehicles and infrastructure, public acceptance of autonomous vehicles and e-security.”