KSA to transform mass transit with autonomous trains

Fabrice Toulouse, director of smart mobility at Alstom.
Updated 17 July 2018
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KSA to transform mass transit with autonomous trains

When Saudi Arabia’s residents imagine the transportation of tomorrow, the popular image is of autonomous cars plowing Riyadh’s King Abdullah Road, carrying workers, university students, and football fans alike. But with the Saudi government heavily investing in mass transit and advanced technology, the likely future of transport is quite different. Automation is set to transform not only cars but also shared transportation, such as metros, trains, trams, and buses. 

As automation progresses, the costs of sensors and artificial intelligence are decreasing, while the computing power of connected vehicles is increasing. As a result, the Kingdom is at the forefront of using automation to make mass transit faster, cheaper, safer, and more energy efficient — especially on metros and mainline trains in the short term, and buses and trams further ahead.

For example, the Saudi government is heavily investing in autonomous transportation across the country, including the driverless Riyadh Metro, with lines 4, 5, and 6 being developed by the Alstom-partnered FAST consortium. Further in the Kingdom, autonomous transportation will be a key part of the transportation plans for the NEOM Smart City, and regionally, automated transport was a key topic at the recent MENA Transport Congress hosted by the UITP, the international organization for public transport.

In the Saudi cities of the future, automation of signaling and trains could make its biggest impact in enhancing the effectiveness of metros and mainline trains.

Alstom, as a global leader in mobility solutions, is exchanging best practices in autonomous transport with the Middle East, and is supporting rail innovation in the Kingdom by conducting initial dynamic tests for the Riyadh Metro Project at the FAST consortium Line 4 Depot Test Track. Line 4 will feature driverless trains, state-of-the-art signaling, safe and secure stations, and advanced real-time passenger information systems.

“Automation can significantly reduce traffic congestion, costs, and pollution. It can increase travel speeds and rapidly boost the country’s urban economic growth. 

As the Kingdom ramps up its investment in smart cities and Saudi Vision 2030, government organizations and the private sector need to take the next six months to plan the future of automated transport,” said Fabrice Toulouse, director of smart mobility at Alstom. 


Cartier unveils Coloratura at historic Riyadh palace

Updated 13 February 2019
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Cartier unveils Coloratura at historic Riyadh palace

Guests of Cartier were treated to an unforgettable evening at the late King Faisal’s palace Qasr Al-Maather, situated in the heart of the Alfaisal University in Riyadh, as the maison unveiled its latest high jewelry collection Coloratura. 

The evening was held under the patronage of Princess Maha bint Mishari, vice president of external relations and advancement at Alfaisal University. In her opening remarks, she said: “The new friendship between maison Cartier and Alfaisal University is about the shared values and goals that we have in the areas of education and the empowerment of women.”

Princess Maha added: “Cartier’s global efforts as well as the great heart and commitment of the entire Cartier team were so very apparent in the spectacular exhibition created, as evidenced by the great care taken in preparation of the historic venue for the evening’s event.” 

Coloratura took the guests on a journey to the four corners of the globe, symbolic of Cartier’s long-standing relationship with India, Africa and the Orient. With dynamic stone pairings, unexpected color palettes and the illusion of infinite movement, Coloratura also featured exclusive pieces, created by Cartier especially for its Saudi clients.

Held in one of the Kingdom’s most iconic building, Coloratura was presented in conjunction with an exhibition of pieces from the Cartier Patrimony Collection, especially flown in for the occasion and illustrating the maison’s main creative influences throughout its history. A key piece of the exhibition was the Asma Allah Al-Husna bracelet, featuring a 19th century Islamic arts inspired creation.

“The legacy of the House of Cartier is ensured through the brilliance of its artisans, as is the legacy of Alfaisal ensured through that of its students. Shared values, mutual interests, and a commitment to education are what binds this collaboration for now, and for success in all its future endeavors to come,” said Princess Maha.

The guests witnessed and appreciated Cartier’s mastery of fine craftsmanship through pieces from the Tutti Frutti collection. A marriage of texture, color and form with sapphires, rubies and emeralds, Tutti Frutti possesses a unique style that dates back to the 1920s. 

“After Paris, Tokyo and Seoul, we are proud to offer our Saudi clients this stunning showcase of Cartier’s know-how in their home country,” said Alban du Mesnil du Buisson, managing director Cartier Saudi Arabia. 

“We are very pleased to have our event open to the public on one of the exhibition days, and truly honored to host it inside this unique and culturally significant structure that symbolizes the Kingdom’s commitment to nurturing and educating its community and youth — a philosophy that echoes Cartier’s values,” he added.