Mattar Al-Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), announced that the participation in the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport had exceeded the target by 30 percent, by the end of the registration phase.
Companies, universities, colleges and institutions submitted applications globally. Attendees of the event included Dr. Arif Al-Hammadi, executive vice president of Khalifa University; Laila Faridoon, chairperson of the organizing committee of the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport; Dr. Steve Shladover, the international jury head of Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport; and Adel Shakri, head of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport Committee.
The leader’s category finalists included: Navya and EasyMile from France, Drive.ai from the US, Westfield from the UK, Baidu from China, and 2getthere from the Netherlands.
The list of startup finalists included: Sensible from Finland, Derq from the UAE, and IAuto from Taiwan.
As for the local universities, the announced finalists were: Dubai University, UAE University, Al-Ain University of Science and Technology, and Abu Dhabi University. Among the international universities were Friee Berlin University in Germany, CMU in the US, Intelligent Systems Lab at Universidad Carlos lll de Madrid in Spain, and UTS in Australia.
“The challenge awards amount to more than $5 million; $3 million will be allocated to leader’s category, $1.5 million to the startups category, and $600,000 to local and foreign universities ($300,000 each). A team of international experts in the field of smart mobility will assess the finalists by several technical criteria,” said Al-Tayer.
Finalists will be subjected to intensive tests in Dubai in 2019, and an international jury panel will review all submissions to select the winners of the inaugural edition of the challenge. Winners will be honored during the first edition of the Dubai World Conference for Self-Driving Transport scheduled to be held in October 2019.