Dubai will host a World Congress for Self-Driving Transport in October 2019, Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority announced on Tuesday.
The event – a first of its kind in the Middle East – will take place in cooperation with Khalifa City and the NewCities foundation. It is aimed at increasing public awareness of self-driving transport technologies and identifying the impacts the technology will have on investments and transport strategies.
"The congress will be a global platform for self-driving transport, bringing together prominent experts, specialists, policy makers, technology manufacturers, researchers and academia," said Mattar Al Tayer, the director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA. "They will share views and visions in innovation and technologies of self-driving transport."
Additionally, the event will include a "Dubai World Challenge for Self-driving transport", with prizes in excess of $5 million.
"The challenge is a global competition aimed at broadening the use of Self-driving Transport at all levels," Al Tayer said. "It aims to encourage leading companies in this field to cope with the existing challenges such as traffic congestions, low public transport ridership, and the first and last-mile challenge, to ensure the traveling of riders to their final destination."
According to Al Tayer, prizes of $3 million will be allocated for the leading companies category, with another $1.5 million for star-ups, and $600,000 for universities and academia.
Challenge participants will be pre-qualified on a number of factors such as credibility, future vision, skills, and relevant expertise, and will then be assessed in categories including technical ability and experience, business dimensions, and operation and service.
Participant's designs will also undergo a series of tests related to durability and reliability, ability to drive under realistic traffic conditions, power efficiency, safety, and user's experiences.
A team of specialist international experts will assess and judge the participants.
"The Dubai World Challenge for self-driving transportation offers a unique opportunity to showcase the pioneering innovations and solutions stemming from Dubai and the United Arab Emirates to promote their vision and policies for transportation of tomorrow," said John Rossant, the chairman of NewCities Foundation and Direction of the LA CoMotion Conference.
"Urban mobility is driving change in cities around the world, and the incredible rate of innovation in recent years has redefined our experience in urban areas," he added. "Advancements in urban transportation, from mobility as a service to autonomous vehicles, will transform the urban world as we know it."
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