Emirates seeks self-driving fleet, AI training through Dubai Future Accelerators - Gulf Business
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Emirates seeks self-driving fleet, AI training through Dubai Future Accelerators

Emirates seeks self-driving fleet, AI training through Dubai Future Accelerators

The airline is seeking new technologies to increase efficiency and enhance passenger experience


Dubai’s Emirates is seeking a self-driving fleet and an AI system for cabin crew training as part of its participation in the third edition of the Dubai Future Accelerators programme.

The programme, which seeks to address modern day challenges by linking government institutions with innovative private sector start-ups and companies, attracted more than 4,000 applications in its first two editions.

The third round is now open for submissions and will be held over nine weeks starting in October.

Emirates will be seeking innovative companies to develop solutions for future challenges in the aviation sector and support the sector’s growth in a sustainable way.

Its three challenges include the development of a self-driving fleet for ground support operations at airports operating on 100 per cent solar and electric power and with a 50 per cent boost to the airline’s operational efficiency.

The carrier also aims to find a new system to train cabin crew quickly and efficiently using advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality and is seeking an integrated system to allow travellers to reserve cars and drivers, order plane meals and shop in duty free areas smoothly and efficiently.

The plans come following reports suggesting the airline is experimenting with augmented reality and other technologies to improve customer service.

Read: Dubai’s Emirates considers equipping staff with AR goggles to improve service

“Over the past two programmes, we have enjoyed remarkable success in terms of the enthusiasm of participating government entities, and the sheer number of MoUs signed with pioneering companies to find innovative future solutions, create opportunities for sustainable growth, and further enhance our society,” said Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Accelerators.

“This year, we will see new government entities come on board to collaborate with global innovators to create advanced working models and future solutions across many verticals.”

Other participants in the third cycle include:

Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)
Seeks to create a sustainable and integrated framework for autonomous transport legislation, testing, and operation in an urban context, with a preference for clean and alternative fuels, as well as breakthrough technologies to support decision making and help cyclists and pedestrians travel in hot and humid climates

Dubai Health Authority

Aims to reduce costs and increase efficiency and potency of diagnosis, disease prevention and patient monitoring by factor of 10 through advanced technologies

Dubai Police

Aims to reduce general crime rate by 50 per cent and traffic related mortality rate to 2.5 per 100,000 citizens by 2021, through the use of advanced technologies

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

Aims to explore and demonstrate new technologies that can transform a utility provider’s traditional business model of generating, transmitting and distributing water and electricity

Smart Dubai

Plans to use artificial intelligence to deliver city services twice as fast, with half the budget, twice the customer satisfaction

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs

Plans to implement the latest and most advanced face recognition technology and blockchain to enable seamless transition through Dubai airport passport control


Exploring new technologies that introduce an innovative customer loyalty system that helps customers enjoy the privileges of being part of the du network in various contexts such as location, time of day, user profile, activity, while integrating multiple du data sources such as fixed, mobile, data and other communication platforms

Seeks to reduce digital risks in the UAE by 50 per cent over the next five years by building cutting edge digital security solutions focusing on industrial control systems security, IoT security or incident response

Dubai Municipality

Seeks to reduce general waste by 75 per cent by 2021; implement 3D printing technology in a quarter of Dubai buildings by 2030; increase green areas in Dubai tenfold by 2020 through using advanced irrigation and agriculture techniques and explore using nanotechnology in at least three Dubai Municipality services and operations by 2021

Knowledge and Human Development Authority

Exploring technologies that allow school committees to self-regulate their operations and curriculum in a fair and unbiased manner, so they can become future ready and amongst the best in the world by 2025

Dubai Economy

Focused on developing an integrated smart system to evaluate emerging companies based on financial and non-financial standards to enhance the SME’s credibility and increase their access to finance by 100 per cent by 2021

The third edition will also host the ‘Humanitarian Accelerators’ programme, which aims to connect start-ups with the UAE’s humanitarian sector to tackle social, cultural and environmental challenges.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives’ sponsored programme will run in line with the main Dubai Future Accelerators over nine weeks.

Its inaugural edition will focus on education for refugee children, job opportunities for refugees, solutions for water sanitation in under privileged countries, increasing reading in the Arab region and Arabic content online.

The first Dubai Future Accelerators cycle saw 19 agreements signed between public and private sector firms with 28 signed in the second round.


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