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
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.