Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has entered the practical testing phase for its Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport competition, which divides prize money of more than US$5m among the winners of three categories: industry leaders, startups and academia. The competition will begin with the ‘leaders’ category.
Conducted at the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) technology park, the challenge includes a series of tests that relate to endurance, authenticity and the ability to drive under real-world traffic conditions, with obstacles including water sprinklers, varying speed humps, and sand-blasting machines. Participants also have access to office space, meeting rooms, and an area designated for tests and workshops.
Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO, RTA, said, “The focus will be on the first- and last-mile challenge, which is the theme of the first edition of the challenge. Tests will also examine the ability and efficiency of vehicles to provide passenger services under the prevailing local environment and climatic conditions of Dubai.
“Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has set a dedicated route and we worked with them in designing digital maps for carrying the test-runs required. The five companies, along with their teams and vehicles, are now in Dubai gearing up for participating in these tests next month. The five shortlisted companies (leaders) are: NAVYA, EasyMile, GAUSSIN, Westfield, and 2getthere,” he added.
Winners of the three categories will be announced at the sidelines of the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport, which RTA will host in October this year.
Muammar Al Katheeri, executive vice president of engineering and smart city at DSOA, said, “Hosting the inaugural edition of the challenge, which has attracted creative minds from across the world to help disrupt the transportation industry for the better, aligns with DSO’s commitment to serving as a testbed for smart technologies, as well as a hub for experts and leaders in the field of innovation.”