Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport 2023 begins field testing

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that field tests had started for participants in the 3rd Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport 2023 had begun. Testing will be conducted at Dubai Silicon Oasis, a member of Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ). The challenge offers a generous purse of US$2.3 million divided into two categories: Industry Leaders and Local Academia.  

Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, RTA, said, “The launch of the third edition of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport follows the success of the first two editions. It complements RTA’s efforts to raise the profile of Dubai in self-driving transport and supports the government’s vision to transform 25% of total mobility journeys in Dubai into journeys that use self-driving means by 2030. The theme of this edition is ‘Self-Driving Buses’.”

This edition of the Challenge features an increase in the number of participants in both Industry Leaders and Local Academia categories with 27 submissions received from worldwide candidates. The number reflects a 130% increase in the targeted number of applicants in the Industry Leaders category as well as a 175% rise in applicants in the Local Academia category.

“The third round of the challenge bears a new competitive character for the participants, which It reflects RTA’s commitment to bolstering Dubai Government’s leadership role in expanding the use of self-driving transportation technologies across the board. The challenge awards $2 million for the Industry Leaders category and $300,000 for the Local Academia category,” continued Bahrozyan. 

For his part, Eng. Muammar Al Katheeri, Chief Officer of Engineering and Sustainability at Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), highlighted that Dubai Silicon Oasis, as a specialized economic zone in knowledge and innovation under the Dubai Urban Master Plan 2040, serves as an open lab for piloting the latest smart city and future society technologies. Since its establishment, DSO contributed to the enhancement of Dubai’s pioneering position among the world’s smartest cities.

Al Katheeri added: “The Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, organized by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority at Dubai Silicon Oasis for the third consecutive year, strengthens the emirate’s ranking within indices for innovation, designing the future, creating opportunities, enhancing public-private partnerships, and supporting research and development across vital sectors. This aligns with the key objective of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) – to consolidate Dubai’s position among the top three global cities.”

The Local Academia category is available for all UAE-based universities, institutions, and research centres interested in autonomous technology research and the development of related models. 

Winners will be announced during the 3rd Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport, organized by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority from 26-27 September. The event, which is the first of its kind worldwide, creates a global platform that brings together experts, policy makers, technology developers, researchers, and academics specialising in this field or related areas. Winners of the Self-Driving Challenge will be honoured during this conference.

The conference will be accompanied by an exhibition showcasing Self-Driving Transportation, which is set to attract about 60 exhibitors and 2000 visitors. A host of discussion panels and workshops will be held to share expertise and discuss the most recent developments and innovations in autonomous technologies.

Source: Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai