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23 May 2024

Dubai: Leading The Technological Revolution In Travel For A Future-Ready World

By indiatimes

Technology plays a transformative role in almost all industries, but the travel industry has benefited the most from technological advances. Dubai is a testament to contemporary efforts that have the potential to change the face of travel and to set a blueprint for the rest of the world.
From self-driven taxis that could eliminate waiting times and make transit within the city easier to a biometric reader that enables quick immigration processing at airport checkpoints, Dubai is making numerous strides in easing the travel experience - for locals and for visitors alike.
The future is autonomous
A transportation project spearheaded by Dubai's RTA and Cruise aims to make 4,000 electric taxis operable in the city of Dubai by the end of 2023. "We have already created a map for the city that these vehicles would be using and the trial began at the end of 2022," said Khaled Al Awadhi, Director, Transportation Systems at Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA). According to him, by 2030, 25% of all vehicles in Dubai will be autonomous as part of their bigger plan.
Building on the success of Dubai's driverless metro experience, the city plans to add autonomous buses as well. But before you even enter the streets of Dubai, you'll see how automation is changing the city's infrastructure at the airport very soon. With the "Smart Passage," Dubai's airport could soon scan your details automatically through a camera to make immigration clearance easier.
By simply scanning your face and iris, the AI system can fish out your name, nationality, date of birth, place of birth, sex, ID number, vaccination status, phone number, and even your last date of exit. In addition, it will also automatically display your passport document and the boarding pass on a complementary screen to make the process seamless... all in a matter of a few seconds. The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship & Port Security showed off the "Smart Passage" prototype last year.
Majed AlBlooshi from the federal authority said that the tech would allow passengers at airports and ports to enter Dubai "without presenting their passports or the boarding pass" to the immigration officer. By using just facial recognition, the tech will register all details and make way for passage.
Of course, what's travel in a future-ready city like Dubai without some flying vehicles? According to SkyDrive's R&D Strategy Manager Mark Blackwell, their two-seater vehicle will be released in 2025, building on the success of ST03 vehicle - "a single seater prototype that's already been flying for two years [with focus on] ensuring the safety of the pilot." Their next two-seater vehicle will be affordable, electric and capable of vertical take off and landing. The upcoming flying vehicle will have a range of 100 kilometres and is intended for "emergency, sightseeing, and entertainment purposes."
What has the shift been like from the old to the new for Dubai? According to Dubai Future Foundation's CEO H.E. Khalfan Belhoul, "there is no better way of doing this than having a dialogue with the world."
"In order to institutionalise future foresight, we need to have a global dialogue with experts of the world," he told Indiatimes.