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Credit: Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai

Credit: Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai

Dubai RTA developing HD maps of city to support Self-driving Transport Strategy

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai has signed a preliminary Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with HERE Technologies for a long-term technology collaboration to map the city with high definition (HD) technology for the first time. HD maps are a pre-requisite for Dubai to achieve its goal for 25% of all journeys to be self-driving by 2030. The self-driving strategy is inclusive of all mass transit modes such as trains, buses, marine transit modes and taxis, as well as private vehicles.

HERE, which is owned by a consortium of German automotive companies (namely Audi, BMW, and Mercedes), provides mapping data and related services to individuals and companies.

RTA and HERE plan to deploy the latest location technologies in the development of a data infrastructure to support safe, sustainable and efficient autonomous transportation. These efforts are in line with Dubai’s Smart City strategy and its self-driving transport roadmap, which ultimately aims to raise the quality of life for people in Dubai.

As part of this MOU, RTA and HERE intend to conduct pilots aimed at enabling the use of HD Live Map, HERE’s map for autonomous cars, for public service vehicles operating in Dubai. HD Live Map is a high definition, self-updating map designed to provide autonomous vehicles with accurate information about what is happening on the road.

Abdulla Al Madani, CEO of RTA’s Corporate Technology Support Services Sector and Leon van de Pas, SVP, Internet of Things at HERE Technologies signed the MOU.

“RTA has always been a forerunner in harnessing the most sophisticated technologies through collaborating with the world’s best providers taking into consideration the contribution to make Dubai the world’s smartest city and make its residents, tourists and visitors happy and satisfied,” said Al Madani.

Leon van de Pas, SVP, Internet of Things at HERE Technologies, added, “Dubai recognizes the importance of new location technologies in making transportation more efficient, safer and sustainable for people. Driven by our vision of enabling an autonomous world for everyone, the HERE Technologies team is excited and energized to help Dubai deliver on its ambitious plans for a driverless future.”

As mentioned above, HD maps are one of the key enablers for RTA’s autonomous transportation strategy.

RTA is working to develop and introduce several other enablers in parallel. These include enacting legislations and rules for self-driving transport, enhancing public adaptability to this technology, developing the appropriate conditions & regulations for testing & licensing of self-driving vehicles, chalking up a structure for related insurance & liability, and addressing infrastructure requirements.  

Enablers would also include development of a framework for cybersecurity and technology-driven communication system to ensure effective communication & interaction between vehicles. 

In April 2017, Dubai concluded its third successful trial of a Smart Autonomous Vehicle for public transport

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