RTA unveils finalists for self-driving challenge

Mattar Al-Tayer with Dr. Arif Al-Hammadi and Laila Faridoon at a press conference held to announce the finalists of the challenge
Updated 31 October 2018

RTA unveils finalists for self-driving challenge

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.


Digital transformation to create 1 million Saudi jobs

Updated 21 September 2020

Digital transformation to create 1 million Saudi jobs

Speakers and experts at an international conference revealed that an estimated 1 million jobs are expected to be created in the Kingdom over the next five years, due to the acceleration of digital transformation in several industries and sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nasser bin Suleiman Al-Nasser, chief executive of the STC Group and head of the Digital Transformation Working Group of the Saudi B20 business group, participated in an interactive session titled “Digital Transformation: The Future After the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which was held recently and included the participation of representatives from the B20 business group in 20 countries.

Al-Nasser explained that future jobs will depend entirely on technology and innovation, noting the gender disparity in the field of technology. It is therefore significant to empower women entrepreneurs and work together with governments to create targeted employment programs, designed to involve and qualify women in the technical sector while encouraging their promotion to leadership positions.

“We need to ensure that young women receive training and guidance when they enter the job market or start their own businesses, and the Kingdom has adopted many initiatives and investments to qualify young men and women through education,” he said. “In 2019, the Kingdom allocated SR1 billion ($266 million) to support universities in preparing students for the job market.”

The Saudi B20 and OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) organized a virtual meeting, where a number of key government actors and G20 members presented recommendations and exchanged experiences on future investments, digital transformation, sustainability and 5G-based digital solutions.

The Saudi business group is committed to providing recommendations that promote the implementation of robust policies through transparent dialogue and constructive cooperation with all relevant parties, supported by a group of international organizations that act as knowledge and communication experts. It is the official platform of the business community at the G20 summit, and plays a representative role for the private sector before the group.

Maadad Al-Ajmi, head of the working group of the B20 Saudi Arabia Integrity and Compliance and vice president and general counsel for legal affairs at STC, participated in a session dedicated to compliance and integrity. Nasser Al-Jareed, head of the Workers’ Communication Group of the B20 and director of the Workers’ Committees Support Program at STC, was also a participant.

The Kingdom has taken qualitative steps toward ensuring a speedy development toward digital transformation through the adoption of state-of-the-art telecommunications and ICT technology, thereby facilitating the transformation toward a knowledge economy and e-commerce. These efforts ultimately aim to achieve higher satisfaction rates and quality of living for both citizens and residents, facilitating their everyday lives.