Dubai sets global challenge for self-driving transport

Win up to $300,000 by participating in Dubai's self-driving vehicles competition.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 14, 2018

The Roads and Transport Authority announced the Dubai Worldwide Self-Driving Transport (SDT) Congress and Challenge at the World Government Summit on Tuesday.

The SDT challenge is an international competition designed for industry leaders, start-ups, and innovators tackling the transport challenges faced by global cities, the RTA tweeted.

According to the RTA, SDT is a catalyst to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, of transforming 25 per cent of all trips in Dubai to be smart and driverless by 2030.

Global technology leaders and innovators will be invited to Dubai 'to access world-class infrastructure, and showcase technology that addresses three transport needs: transporting people, transporting goods and transporting innovation.'

SDT will allow transport players to showcase their latest technologies in Dubai; develop themes fitting the demand and conditions that are relevant to Dubai; deliver experiences and knowledge that could be leveraged in developing the self-driving transport market in Dubai - and other global smart cities; solve existing transport issues (public transport ridership, congestion, parking, walkability constraints and driver behaviours); and set a legacy that will ensure continuity in future technical development, public awareness and policy development.

SDT is divided into different categories: (1) First-/Last-Mile Connectivity; (2) Marine; (3) Delivery Services; and (4) Technology Innovation.

The first-/last-mile connection will be the first case to be addressed. This challenge is open to all players who are involved in self-driving transport providing first-/last-mile solutions. However, the finalists will have to offer a fully integrated solution which may require forming consortia with other partners.

The focus of the first use case is transporting people in the first-/last-mile connection from public transport, from parking lots to venues, and within communities.

Participants are expected to meet the following criteria: Endurance and reliability; ability to drive in simulated traffic conditions; energy efficiency and environmental suitability; safety and cybersecurity; and consumer experience.

The total prize for industry leaders is worth up to $3 million plus exclusive pilot operation; for start-ups, $1.5 million and entry to Dubai Future Accelerators program; while prizes for winning students are worth up to $300,000 for both UAE-based and international students.

Participants will be able to submit applications early in 2018 and the testing and challenge will take place in Dubai in 2019. To register, log on to