RTA, Emaar sign deal to launch driverless vehicles in Downtown Dubai

The initiative will seek to link various landmarks in Downtown Dubai with autonomous vehicles

Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed a joint venture with Emaar Properties to study the launch of autonomous vehicles in Downtown Dubai.

The vehicles will use smart traffic signals as crossings between the Dubai Mall and Boulevard areas, a statement said.

The initiative will seek to link various landmarks in Downtown Dubai with autonomous vehicles including Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Opera, Souq Al Bahar and hotels.

“The self-driving vehicles had brought new challenges and perceptions to our road infrastructure, which warrants upgrading the existing technology in an innovative manner to mark the world’s first autonomous vehicles initiative,” said Maitha bin Adai, CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency.

“The joint venture between RTA and Emaar is a fruitful outcome of the study of autonomous vehicles plying the Dubai Mall and the Boulevard areas using, in the initial phase, smart interactive systems between these vehicles and traffic signals on some intersections, controlled by signalized traffic lights.”

Last year, the RTA deployed autonomous vehicles across the city in Business Bay, Dubai World Trade Centre and Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard as part of a trial.

The vehicles, each capable of carrying 10 people, operate on a 650m track.

Ahmed Thani Al Matrooshi, managing director of Emaar Properties said: “We are poised to incorporate this clean and smart initiative into our future mega-project, Dubai Creek Port, in line with the Dubai’s autonomous vehicles strategy launched recently.”

The Dubai government is currently undertaking a strategy for smart vehicles aimed at converting 25 per cent of the total mobility journeys in the emirate to various types of driverless transit means by 2030.

Also read: UAE survey reveals enthusiasm but safety concerns with driverless vehicles