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Dubai transport authority maps city to support autonomous cars

Dubai’s RTA has enlisted Here Technologies to build a high-definition map of the city to support its goals around self-driving cars

Here Technologies, the former Nokia mapping service that is now owned by a consortium of German auto-makers, has joined up with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to map the city with high-definition technology in support of Dubai’s wider goals around self-driving, autonomous vehicles.

The emirate hopes to have a quarter of its public transport system converted to self-driving by 2030, and to accomplish this, HD maps are a must.

Initially, the RTA and Here Technologies will run a number of tests to enable Here’s map for autonomous cars, HD Live Map – a self-updating map designed to give users accurate information about road conditions – in the city’s public service vehicles.

Abdulla Al Madani, CEO of the RTA’s corporate technology support services sector, said: “RTA has always been a forerunner in harnessing the most sophisticated technologies through collaborating with the world’s best providers to make Dubai the world’s smartest city and make its residents, tourists and visitors happy and satisfied.”

The partners will also use Here’s Open Location Platform (OLP) to connect vehicles to each other, as well as road infrastructure such as traffic lights.

The OLP enables different auto-makers and other organisations and stakeholders to transmit live, anonymised sensor data that can be aggregated, enriched with high-precision location data, and sent back to cars to give them real-time, geo-targeted and contextually relevant information on their immediate environment.

Read more about autonomous vehicles

Ultimately, it is intended to deploy location technology within a data infrastructure that will support safe, sustainable and efficient autonomous transport.

“Dubai recognises the importance of new location technologies in making transportation more efficient, safer and sustainable for people,” said Leon van de Pas, Here senior vice-president of the internet of things (IoT). “Driven by our vision of enabling an autonomous world for everyone, the Here Technologies team is excited and energised to help Dubai deliver on its ambition plans for a driverless future.”

If the planning and proof-of-concept phases go according to plan, the RTA and Here plan to have a pilot up and running in support of preparations for Expo 2020 in Dubai.

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