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RTA interested in driver-less cars for Dubai

CEO of licensing agency at the RTA adds road safety depends on coordinated government efforts

Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of the licensing agency at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said autonomous vehicles would be a welcome addition to the city’s road network, and authorities will consider working with Google in the future. 

Speaking to Construction Machinery ME, Bahrozyan admitted no such proposals had been made in the city so far, but self-driving cars would enhance Dubai’s multi-modal transport system. “Driverless cars would be good to have in the city,” he said. “I think Google is in talks with many cities for potential tie-ups at the moment.

“However, if a proposition comes our way in the future, and if the timing is right, then we would be keen on bringing such cars on Dubai’s roads.”

Google’s autonomous car has been in development since 2005. Recently, a prototype of a fully autonomous car was released by the software firm — the subcompact hatchback, with a top-speed of 40kmph, has no steering wheel or acceleration and braking pedals. Google’s concept is gaining popularity around global markets for the potential to increase road safety.

“At the end of the day, driver behaviour is an important component of road safety, not just in the UAE but everywhere in the world,” Bahrozyan said. “The RTA’s driving curriculum includes seven lessons focussing on driver attitude, etiquette and safety skills.

“However, as a licensing agency, there is only so much we can do as the learners will be on the roads within a span of two to three months. It therefore requires joint efforts between various RTA departments, the Dubai Police and so on to ensure drivers are constantly educated about good driving behaviour.”

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