The convergence of three separate but linked technologies — artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) — will have far-reaching implications on the automotive industry. Recent advances within these three technologies suggest that autonomous vehicles may be fully realized in the near future.
The growing expectations of this new passenger economy will create new economic opportunities across numerous sectors like healthcare, tourism, and the transportation industry. Indeed, researchers, government bodies, and automotive makers all predict that autonomous vehicles will likely affect travel demands, business logistics, and infrastructure planning.
This paper explores the role of autonomous vehicles and its potential economic and social impact on the Dubai market. It will investigate the benefits, costs, and implications of autonomous vehicles for various business sectors. It will also determine how driverless vehicles will determine planning decisions in the years to come.
Shifting into economic overdrive
In a report published by research company Strategy Analytics in partnership with Intel, economists estimate the value of autonomous vehicles as a global US$7-trillion opportunity in 2050. This economic valuation is largely supported by autonomous vehicles’ new passenger economy sector. Not only will this new economy transform the automotive market, but it will also create new pathways across a range of industries.
Autonomous vehicles are expected to not only displace vehicle ownership but also define a new landscape of consumer and business vehicle use. The global revenue breakdown brought forth by autonomous vehicles can be determined across three sectors of the Mobility-as-a-Service proposition: Consumer, Business/B2B, and emerging pilotless vehicle services.
Of the three Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) segments, consumer use will account for over half of the global revenue percentage. Concierge and taxi services will largely displace car ownership and transform infrastructure models.
In Dubai, the new strategy, helmed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aims to steer Dubai into the automated passing lane. By 2030, the goal is to underpin 25% of the city-state’s total transportation with self-driving vehicles.
The “Dubai Self-Driving Transportation Strategy,” launched in conjunction with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), is expected to “increase the efficiency of the transport sector, cut transportation costs by 44% or AED900 million annually, and bring AED22 billion in annual economic revenues.”
The consumer Mobility-as-a-Service sector in Dubai will be defined by several offerings, namely: concierge and taxi services, work-commute sharing, and on-demand transportation.
Within the business segment of MaaS services, freight delivery, service fleets, and long-haul transport will predominantly be managed by autonomous mobility services. This will drive efficiencies across Dubai’s transport links. The use of pilotless vehicles on the roads will reduce traffic accidents and losses and reduce environmental pollution by 12%
The rise of emerging pilotless vehicle services will impact several sectors in Dubai’s economic landscape. Sectors such as dining, healthcare, retail, and service delivery will soon employ location-based services that utilize the abilities of pilotless vehicles to drive services to its passengers rather than the other way around.
The road to social change
The successful integration of autonomous vehicles across many sectors in the economy will have long-term societal impacts. Autonomous vehicles will reshape many social interactions in relation to transport. In traffic, these social interactions can be exercised between drivers and other road users, such as other autonomous vehicles users, pedestrians, and vulnerable road users.
In terms of key societal impacts, autonomous vehicles will contribute greatly to:
● Driver freedom
● Increased productivity
● Reduction of traffic fatalities, accidents, and congestion
In Dubai, time surplus and reduced fatalities and accidents have enormous potential in terms of time, costs, and lives saved. Self-driving vehicles will contribute to a 12% reduction in traffic accidents and losses.
As autonomous vehicles further proliferate in greater segments of the economy, these positive societal impact could multiply exponentially.
In relation to this, there are the shared services found within the passenger economy. The co-experience of autonomous vehicles as a shared service can determine its future use and continued adoption. The need for passenger safety and trust increases as Mobility-as-a-Service becomes the daily norm.
While the existing sharing economy, visible through ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, already addresses this type of social relationship, this exists within the current social context. In fully autonomous vehicles, passengers will exist within multi-user environments, similar to a living room.
In order to share control of the driving experience, with the autonomous vehicle gaining increasing agency, multiple users will need to be able to communicate intentions and address methods of co-use and meaningful flows of information between multi-users and the vehicle. In this regard, little of its societal impact is currently known.
Addressing potential uncertainties
Although autonomous vehicles come with considerable economic and societal benefits, many studies highlight potential obstacles that must first be addressed. One of the first uncertainties associated with full adoption rates of autonomous vehicles is generational differences.
In a 2018 Gallup survey, certain cohorts, particularly Generation X and Baby Boomers, express distrust towards the use of driverless vehicles. Education also plays an important factor in how autonomous vehicles are perceived. Those with an educational background of less than a bachelor’s degree were also less likely to accept autonomous vehicle technology.
Cybersecurity is also an immediate concern when dealing with emerging technology such as autonomous vehicles. As these vehicles employ connected communication networks, concerns surrounding data breaches and malicious control of the autonomous vehicle and the surrounding infrastructure must be addressed.
Another barrier to adoption is the complex issue of legality.
A legal framework currently does not exist to address future liability issues. At present, assignment of fault cannot be determined in an autonomous vehicle accident. Lawmakers and regulatory agencies, as well as jurisdictional courts, will need to create a legal framework that clearly identifies the legal position in the event of fault and liabilities for damages.
Dubai’s roadmap to an autonomous future
The progressive march of autonomous technology suggests that autonomous vehicles are poised to share our roads in less than five short years. Dubai is recognizing this transformative change and has already begun to create economic and legislative environments to support this new technology.
The vision outlined by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in conjunction with Dubai RTA will transform Dubai as a visionary platform for self-driving technology innovations. Dubai’s role as an automotive tech changemaker will be a crucial catalyst in achieving the vision of advancing 25% of all trips in Dubai to be smart and driverless by 2030.
A comprehensive strategy and roadmap have been developed to achieve this goal consisting of several initiatives including The Dubai World Challenge For Self-Driving Transport. Hosted by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the Challenge is a multi-year international competition designed for industry leaders, start-ups, and academia tackling the transport challenges faced by global cities. It is the first of its kind to be truly global in its outlook and not limited by country or region. The challenge includes four categories (Leaders, Startups, International Academia, Local Academia) with the theme for the first edition of the challenge being “first and last-mile connection” strategies. The application, evaluation and challenge process started in 2018 and runs up until October 2019 where the challenge winners will be announced during the Dubai World Congress For Self-Driving Transport – a 2-day exhibition and conference which will feature renowned automotive experts, tech leaders, manufacturers and regulators.
These initiatives along with various others aimed at advancing technological solutions in self-driving transport will enhance the leading role of Dubai and its government as an innovation champion in the automotive field. Through strategic partnerships, Dubai will expand its centre of excellence to enable the city to venture farther, go faster, and race to a greener future that could help save lives.
Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Agency – Roads and Transport Authority, United Arab Emirates
Chairperson of Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport organizing committee
Ahmed Bahrozyan is the Chief Executive Officer of The Public Transport Agency, which is responsible for offering the needs of public transport in the city (Public buses, Taxies, School Buses, Lemozine, Labor Transport Buses…).
Bahrozyan holds undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems (MIS) from the University of Colorado, USA, 1991. In December 2017, Ahmed Bahrozyan was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Agency.
In 2008, Ahmed Bahrozyan was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Licensing Agency where he mainly focused on building a strong team, simplification of the services, improvement of processes and services. Ahmed Bahrozyan joined the RTA in December 2005, one month after the organization was established, as Deputy Director of the Information Technology Department. He progressed to become the Director of the IT Department and then moved on to hold the position of Director of the Development and Corporate Performance Department where he was responsible for working with all RTA agencies.
Prior to joining RTA, Ahmed Bahrozyan was the Manager of e-Government Services at Dubai Municipality, where he oversaw the development of hundreds of online services that were focused on improving services. Bahrozyan is RTA board member since 2008.
A global 2-day conference that will raise public awareness of modern and future transport by identifying the impact of technology on investments and transport strategies.
A cutting-edge exhibition showcasing the future of self-driving vehicles. The Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport Exhibition is the essential place to attain key decision makers’ attention, and to meet your target audience.