Thursday 13 June 2024

Flying taxis, autonomous cars soon to be a reality in UAE

ABU DHABI, April 29, 2024

Flying taxis, autonomous cars, and sea gliders will be popular modes of transport in the UAE and globally, much sooner than expected. That was the consensus at the recently concluded  inaugural DRIFTx in Abu Dhabi.
DRIFTx, an international platform and exhibition for smart, autonomous, and sustainable urban mobility applications across air, land, and sea, convened industry titans, startups, and mobility leaders from across the world, firmly reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a global hub for smart and autonomous mobility. 
Attended by over 8,000 visitors from more than 25 countries, DRIFTx convened global leaders from around the world in Abu Dhabi, enabling engaging discussions, fostering meaningful collaborations, and providing a perfect platform to showcase and unlock innovative technologies across air, land, and sea applications. Through showcasing the latest solutions, DRIFTx promoted partnerships and unlocked commercial and investment opportunities in the mobility space, supporting Abu Dhabi’s vision to provide a global platform that can be used as a test bed for technologies that are shaping the future of transportation and mobility across the world. 
DRIFTx concluded with 12 MoUs and agreements signed between key local and global players in urban mobility. These strategic agreements advance future mobility solutions bringing them closer to operational launch in civil use-cases.  
Amongst the key collaborations announced at DRIFTx was an agreement between FEST Auto Global Holding Ltd (FEST), a global mobility solutions company with a mission to redefine urban transportation, with Abu Dhabi University (ADU), aimed at fostering innovation in sustainable urban mobility. 
FEST and ADU will work together to enhance FEST's proprietary Fleet Management System (FMS) and Vehicle Management System (VMS). These systems are designed to increase operational efficiency through advanced system customisation and to showcase the practical viability of FEST's customized electric vans in real-world applications.
Bayanat announced a series of exciting initiatives, including the launch of the Daleel App, in beta testing. Unveiled during DRIFTx, Daleel is a cutting-edge navigation application developed in-house by Bayanat specifically for the GCC region, and optimised for the UAE, for smart phone users.  
Bayanat is also partnering with South Korean autonomous technology firm, Autonomous a2z to combine their expertise in pioneering cutting-edge autonomous fleet operations. It also signed an agreement with AUTOCRYPT, an industry-leading V2X security provider and system integrator, to combine its expertise in vehicle-to-everything (V2X) infrastructure deployment with Bayanat’s AI Smart Roads, enabling and advancing Level 4+ autonomous driving.
Manta Aircraft announced strategic support by Altair for Manta Aircraft's innovative programme, which offers unlimited simulation and data analytics software. Altair will provide software tools and computational intelligence solutions in the areas of digital engineering, AI, and data analytics technologies. 
The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), represented by Abu Dhabi Mobility (AD Mobility), signed a memorandum of understanding with Regent Craft to provide low-hovering maritime transport for both passenger and freight transport, accelerating the establishment of an integrated transport system and supporting goals aiming to reduce carbon emissions.
Namir Hourani, Managing Director of GMOLx, organisers of DRIFTx said: “This week, some of the world’s most forward-thinking leaders and brightest minds convened at DRIFTx in Abu Dhabi, unlocking extremely important and high-level discussions that are sure to shape the way people and goods are transported, with advanced solutions that will be operational much sooner than anyone expected. Across the two days, we had an impressive speaker lineup, unique exhibitions, and very exciting live demonstrations, truly displaying what the future for urban air, land, and sea mobility is going to be like. We’re already looking forward to building on the energy and amazing vibe we witnessed this week to inspire another round of real-world breakthroughs at DRIFTx 2025.”
DRIFTx also featured a number of “firsts”, including product unveilings, new showcases, and attracting international mobility entities to the UAE for the first time. This included the UAE’s first operational vertiport for vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) which was unveiled by ADIO, in collaboration with the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and The Department of Municipalities and Transport - Abu Dhabi (DMT), represented by Abu Dhabi Mobility (AD Mobility), an affiliate of the Department of Municipalities and Transport – Abu Dhabi (DMT). 
GMC, one of General Motors’ most popular vehicle brands, and Bin Hamooda Auto – GMC dealership for Abu Dhabi, displayed the brand's first all-electric supertruck, the GMC HUMMER EV Pickup and SUV. The GMC HUMMER EV is the first electric addition to GMC’s lineup of bold, capable and precisely crafted premium trucks and SUVs and provides remarkable on- and off-road capability with a quiet, all-electric propulsion system. Furthermore, Sienna by May Mobility made their debut in the region by presenting autonomous solutions for various car models.
Bayanat collaborated with FlyNow Aviation providing visitors with the chance to virtually take to the skies of Abu Dhabi with the revolutionary eVTOL eCopter, in addition to showing its full-scale HAPS in Abu Dhabi for the first time. Attendees also got the chance to experience innovations that have come to the UAE for the first time, including A2z’s MS MiniBus, Carnival Robo taxi, and remote control driving from Abu Dhabi to Korea. 
Furthermore, Multi-Level Group showcased Wings Logistics Hub’s intra-city passenger taxi, and a short-range light cargo drone which performed flying demonstrations within the event space. Visitors also got to view Big Drone by DCL, which provided an aerobatic drone for human flight, Ocean Drone 30 by Ocean Drone, and Fugro demonstrated the Blue Shadow.
The event’s second day featured engaging talks on AI Leading us to Net Zero, A Look at Air Mobility 20 Years from Now, Traffic Safety Research Priorities towards Vision Zero, Exploring Innovation Across Start-ups, Robotics & Web 3, and Charting the Tech-Led Future of Mobility in MENA. 
In collaboration with the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Abu Dhabi’s Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster, Bayanat, and key local and international strategic partners, including Abu Dhabi Chamber, Joby Aviation, Emirates Driving Company, 7X, Multi-level Group, Archer Aviation, Abu Dhabi Ports Group, and International Road Transport Union (IRU), DRIFTx has emerged as the world’s premier gathering for global thought leaders and innovators to explore, showcase, and demonstrate the latest in smart, autonomous, and sustainable mobility solutions from across the world. 
Building on its success, the second edition of DRIFTx is set to take place once again in Abu Dhabi during the first quarter of 2025. - TradeArabia News Service


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