The UAE has been named in the world's top 10 when it comes to readiness to accommodate driverless vehicles.
KPMG’s Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI), which ranked the Netherlands as the top country, highlights global best practices to help countries accelerate their adoption of autonomous transport, capacity for adapting autonomous driving technology, as well as highlights the progress achieved in making driverless cars a reality.
Behind the Netherlands in the list were Singapore, the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada while the UAE, South Korea and New Zealand made up the top 10.
The study evaluates every country’s ability according to four pillars - policy and legislation; technology and innovation; infrastructure; and consumer acceptance.
The report comes just months after Dubai's GITEX expo showcased innovations that were symbols of the city's ambitions to be a metropolis of the future.
Known for its futuristic skyline and artificial islands, Gulf emirate Dubai has carved out a place alongside cities like Singapore as a hub for innovative ideas.
The undisputed star of the expo was Dubai's flying taxi project. Videos of the craft's first "concept" flight in September generated widespread buzz on social media.
The Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) anticipates five years of testing to put in place safety procedures, infrastructure and legislation governing the system.
The Dubai Autonomous Transport Strategy aims for a quarter of the cars on roads to become driverless by 2030.
This strategy is expected to bring AED22 billion in annual economic revenues, via a reduction of transport costs, carbon emissions and accidents, and hundreds of millions of hours wasted in conventional transportation.
“The UAE’s desire to excel in the field of technology-led innovation, which it overlays on its existing ‘hard’ infrastructure will ensure that the nation is at the vanguard of the urban autonomous mobility,” said Ravi Suri, partner and global head of Infrastructure Finance, KPMG Lower Gulf.
“The learnings from its successful implementation of self-driven vehicles and its intention to introduce flying taxis will ensure that the UAE maintains its leading position in autonomous mobility... the UAE epitomizes an innovation culture and will aim to lead the world in this field,” Suri added.
KPMG said the Netherlands ranks consistently high in the top four across all four pillars - with strengths including widespread acceptance of electric cars and a high density of charging stations, a robust telecommunications network, vital for directing AVs, and large-scale AV road tests planned.
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