EVs, AVs and HPVs are about to revolutionize UAE’s future of transportation. The country is looking into becoming a leader in the self-driving-car market as proved by recent testing on driverless taxis and busses and cars which are expected to be on the UAE’s roads by 2020. Dubai, in particular, wants to become the Self Driving Capital of the World.
Dubai’s automotive market has been pushing self-driving autonomous vehicles (AVs) and promoting electric vehicles for some time now. Support for electric vehicles, as the precursors to AVs, is shown by testing schemes already in place, as the government is determined to do what it takes to help change the way people move and park while taking advantage of making zero emissions transportation a reality.
Electric Vehicles in the UAE are already conquering the market of rental car services and vehicle sharing. The collaboration between Road and Transport Authority (RTA) and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) have created an ecosystem for “people to drive electric vehicles, which range from free public parking to exemptions from tolls and discounts on registration […] charging stations will be free-of-cost by the end of 2019.” Other plans are to get more hydrogen refilling stations in the UAE for the hydrogen-powered vehicles (HPVs) that will be publicly available in selected markets, said Saud Abbasi, managing director of Toyota-UAE.
Dubai is buying 200 Tesla vehicles for its fully autonomous taxi service, with other plans of deploying a fleet of autonomous police patrol cars that will scan people and identify criminals and “undesirables.” However, this is not enough. Dubai is also investing heavily in the technology for electric- and autonomous vehicles to include battery development, connecting technologies, alongside other solutions of low carbon powertrains to create new opportunities in the transit sector and open new markets. Through electric and hybrid cars (autos powered by alternative fuel, such as biofuel and natural gas), the emirate is creating a future of sustainable motoring with zero-emission vehicles.
UAE government projects a 15 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 and a 20 percent increase for electric vehicle adoption, as there’s plans to phase out the petrol-powered vehicles in operation across the country. At the moment, “United Arab Emirates is among the top 10 countries in the world when it comes its readiness to accommodate driverless vehicles,” revealed KPMG’s Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI). “The AVRI ranking reaffirms the UAE’s vision to become one of the most technologically advanced nations on the planet.”
And the future is already here. The cooperation and partnership between the RTA and Sustainable City is about to start; driverless transits will operate on Al Qudra Road, starting from February as part of the “Dubai Government strategy of converting 25 per cent of public transport services to driverless means by 2030,” reports Mariam M. Al Serkal, Senior Web Reporter, Gulf News.
Selfdrive.ae has become the first online car rental portal, available to local residents, visitors, expats and corporate clients, to offer electric cars at an introductory price of AED 5 per hour ($1.36) with a minimum billing cycle of 24 hours and a range of 250 kilometers per day, tells an ArabianBusiness.com post. As a result, this is making electric cars more accessible and affordable to the masses to explore smart mobility and car-share technology, said Soham Shah, the founder and director of Pinewoods Technology Services Dubai, the holding company of Selfdrive.ae.