His Excellency Mattar Mohammed 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 Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport in the categories of Leading Companies and Academic Institutions. The 2nd edition of the challenge is 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%,” announced Al Tayer.

Finalists

“Following the decision of the international judges panel chaired by Dr. Stephen Schladover- an international expert and Chair of the Judges Panel of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, 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,” revealed Al Tayer.

“Equally, six local universities have qualified for the finals namely 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,” added 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% of the total daily mobility trips in Dubai,” he stated.

“The dispatch of shipments in the first and last-mile across the city is amongst the key services that impact the economy in general. 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’s keenness to broaden the scope of self-driving logistical services including ground transport and drones aims to open up new horizons an engaging the biggest companies in various categories of the challenge,” explained Al Tayer.

Immense Participation

“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. 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,” said Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport.

“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 United Arab Emirates.

“Over the next stage, the efficiency of projects and initiatives of qualified local companies and academic institutions will be tested at the testing site of the Dubai Silicon Oasis. Tests will be conducted next year according to the set plan and timetable at the highest international standards. The results of these tests will be decisive in reaching the final selection of the winners,” concluded Bahrozyan.

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