The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed a joint venture with Emaar Properties to study the launch of autonomous vehicles which will operate between the Dubai Mall and Boulevard areas of Downtown Dubai.
The agreement, which was signed on the sidelines of International Road Federation Middle East and North Africa, is expected to further boost Dubai's standing in the forefront of the global push to implement clean transport solutions, the companies said in a statement.
Dubai is seeking to link the various landmarks of Downtown Dubai with autonomous vehicles to bring more comfort and convenience to the residents and visitors flocking to the the likes of Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Opera, Souq Al Bahar, in addition to the many hotels.
Maitha bin Adai, CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency, said: "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.
"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 signalised traffic lights."
Ahmed Thani Al Matrooshi, managing director of Emaar Properties, added: “We offer our sincere thanks to RTA for supporting our plans aimed to introduce and use autonomous vehicles in downtown Dubai. The joint venture is another conclusive testament reflecting Dubai’s commitment to promoting sustainable transport patterns consistent with the objective of the Dubai 2021 Plan to build a smart city.”
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