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03 October 2023

RTA showcases self-driving, sustainable transport initiatives at UITP Global Public Transport Summit Barcelona


Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has taken part in the 64th UITP Global Public Transport Summit held in Barcelona, Spain featuring the participation of 1,900 delegates from 100 countries.

About 300 speakers delivered speeches in 85 discussion panels that discussed the latest ideas and visions about urban and sustainable mobility.

On the sidelines of the summit, an exhibition of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) hosted 15,000 visitors, and RTA showcased its latest public transport and sustainable projects and initiatives about self-driving transport and smart technology-driven services through its stand.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA delivered a speech at the opening session of the summit in the presence of Raquel Sánchez Jiménez, Spanish Minister for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Khalid Al Hogail, President of UITP, and Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, Spain.

Al Tayer stressed Dubai’s commitment to boosting sustainable and innovative transport across all public and shared transport means.

“Dubai Government has invested more than €37 billion (AED146 billion) in upgrading the infrastructure of roads and public transport networks over the past 18 years to ensure smooth and sustainable transport for Dubai’s residents and visitors. Dubai’s integrated public transport modes form the backbone of people’s mobility around Dubai. The network succeeded in leveraging the proportion of public and shared transport from 6 percent in 2006 to as much as 19.4 percent in 2022, and the plan is to push it further to 25 percent by 2030,” Al Tayer commented.

“The network has also coaxed a change in the culture of residents across various segments and their attitude toward using public transport means. RTA’s strategic and executive plans for roads and transport are built on the principle of smooth mobility around Dubai. Moreover, RTA intends to transform all mass transit means into environment-friendly means with zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

“Dubai has demonstrated a strong commitment towards sustainable and innovative mobility, as evidenced by numerous ongoing initiatives. A prime example of this is the "environmentally friendly Dubai Metro” - the world's longest driverless metro system. Since its inception in September 2009, it has transported over 2 billion riders while living up to the highest global safety standards coupled with admirable operational efficiency rates, and an impressive 99.7 percent punctuality rate.

“Dubai has ambitious plans aligned with the United Nations' sustainable development goals, particularly carbon emissions, and the objectives of the forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP28), to be hosted by the UAE this year. Our pledge to sustainable mobility is also illustrated by the Dubai Urban 2040 Plan. This people-centric strategy is built on a host of key pillars namely the integration of land use, transport planning, the use of sustainable transportation means and the 20-minute city concept,” explained Al Tayer.

Dubai, a Global Pioneer

“Innovative mobility is another key area where RTA is endeavouring to boost the pioneering standing of Dubai in the field of self-driving transport. This included trials of various autonomous vehicles, aerial taxis, and marine transport modes. Such efforts echo Dubai's strategy for smart self-driving transport aimed to transform 25 percent of the total mobility journeys in Dubai into driverless journeys using diverse forms of transport by 2030,” said Al Tayer.

“RTA has made significant progress towards realising this strategy. As of 2022, over 10 percent of total trips in Dubai had transformed to driverless modes, primarily through the Dubai Metro's driverless operations. Furthermore, the end of this year will witness the introduction of Cruise autonomous vehicles to provide taxi and e-hail ride services. This launch will mark Dubai as the first city outside the United States to commercially operate this company's autonomous vehicles.

RTA participated in the global summit with a delegation comprising several CEOs and directors. It set up a large stand to showcase several strategic initiatives, ambitious plans, and future projects. Examples included the Digital Twinning of Railways in Dubai Metro relating to trains’ infrastructure and the contribution to a higher operational value, and faster maintenance and decision-making operations.

RTA’s stand displays the Aerial Taxi project undertaken in cooperation with Skyports and Joby companies. The project is projected to be operational by 2026, positioning Dubai as the first city in the world to have a sophisticated network for vertical take-off and landing. The stand also featured the Yandex experience with Talabat for the transportation of goods, and the launch of delivery robots that operate using autonomous vehicle technology. It exhibits digital cards through the nol Pay app for smartphone users in the UAE usable as a means of payment for various transit means, and the S’hail Smart app, which facilitates the planning of public transport journeys in Dubai.

The summit, which is held biennially, offers a huge gathering of transport specialists worldwide and showcases the latest technologies of infrastructure, artificial intelligence, and sustainability. Bright Light of the City, which was this year’s theme focused on providing smooth and safe transport through integrated transport networks.