Dubai hosts World Congress for Self-Driving Transport event

Dubai, H.H. Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, opened the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport today at Dubai World Trade Centre.

During the event, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed honored the winners of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport held by Roads and Transport Authority,RTA. The Congress, which features more than 700 technology leaders and innovators and 3000 visitors, focuses on cutting-edge technologies and explores ways to develop a general legislative structure for autonomous transport.

Shaikh Maktoum was received by Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA at Dubai World Trade Centre's Zabeel Hall, the venue of the exhibition, UAE News Agency (WAM) reported.

The Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport, the first event of its kind in the region, is part of RTA's efforts to support the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to make 25 percent of all trips in Dubai smart and driverless by 2030. The Congress features 80 international experts, including five keynote speakers, who will be taking part in 40 lectures and 39 technical workshops.

The Congress is an all-inclusive global platform for self-driving transport that brings together top experts, policymakers, technology developers, researchers and academia. Global leaders of technology and innovation will exchange ideas and proposals about connected autonomous vehicles. The event aims to highlight the leading role of Dubai Government in self-driving transport and accelerate the drive to achieve the targets of Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy by attracting experts and technologies of self-driving transport to Dubai.

The event also aims to raise public awareness about the latest technologies and future trends of transportation as well as identifying the potential impact on investments and different transport strategies.

Dr. Sterling Anderson, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer Aurora Inc., a PhD holder in Robotics from MIT and ex-Chief of Tesla Autopilot System, delivered the keynote speech of the Congress. He touched on the contemporary transport world, economic and social challenges of human driving vehicles, and the future of self-driving transport and its positive impact on social life.

He also spoke about the key players involved in the transition to a world where autonomous vehicles will be the main mode of people's mobility. Dr. Anderson also spotlighted key development projects and development focus areas associated with self-driving transport.

Shaikh Maktoum joined other attendees to watch a movie on the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, which carries a prize money of AED19 million (US$5.1 million). The challenge attracted 65 entities from 20 countries, 15 of whom qualified for the finals. The challenge focused on the first and last-mile challenge of mobility journeys.

Five leading companies, three start-ups and seven local and foreign universities qualified for the finals. Qualifying vehicles were subjected to different scenarios and tests on a dedicated track tailor-made for testing such vehicles at the Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Shaikh Maktoum later presented awards to the winners of Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport. H.H. received the list of winners from the delivery robot Roxo developed by FedEx Express. Dubai was selected as the first city outside the USA to host the test of this personal delivery bot. French companies swept the $3 million prizemoney for leading companies.

Gaussin won the sustainability and energy award while Navya won the durability and reliability award as well as the customers' experience award.

In the start-ups category, the one-million-dollar first prize went to Sensible 4 from Finland, which also took part in Dubai Future Accelerators. The runner-up iAuto from Taiwan received half a million dollars. The UAE-based Derq Company finished third.

Among the international universities, the winner was Freie Berlin, Germany which received $200,000. Second placed Carlos III de Madrid University received $100,000 dollars. In third place came the Australian university UTS. Among local universities, Dubai University finished first, winning $200,000 dollars, UAE University came second bagging $100,000 and Al Ain University finished third. HH Shaikh Maktoum felicitated members of the judging panel of the challenge.

Nominees for the challenge were qualified on certain parameters including the status, credibility, vision, skills and relevant experience of the entity. They were then subjected to several tests in various categories to assess their performance under six key standards and 18 subsidiary standards. Key standards covered the operation plan, tolerance and reliability, sustainability and energy, customer experience, safety and security, and dealing with road users.

Source: Bahrain News Agency