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Dubai looks to transport for next smart city stage

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Dubai will see growth in the number of autonomous vehicles and transport drones in the next stages of the Smart Dubai project, the scheme’s DG Aisha Bin Bishr (pictured) told Mobile World Live. Speaking during Mobile World Congress, Bin Bishr said by 2030, 25 per cent of the vehicles on the emirate city’s roads would be autonomous, and detailed ambitious plans to use transport drones in the city later in 2017. She said early 2017 saw tests conducted of “autonomous drones that can carry a person across the city,” which “will be operative by July 2017.”

The Smart Dubai project launched in 2014. Since then, the city developed its underlying infrastructure and connectivity to act as a strong backbone for its IoT and other smart services. This initial investment is now being enhanced by the completion of the “soft components”, including forming a smart city office to run the project and bringing in a technical expertise and data insight arm. “In the last three years we have enabled the city to become a real smart city,” Bin Bishr said. To measure the impact of the scheme, the organisation developed a “Happiness Agenda” where public data is monitored to assess the morale of its citizens.

“Why are we doing the smart city project? It is to fulfil our people’s needs and our people’s demands to be happier and to love their life,” she added. “Our vision is to make Dubai the happiest city.”

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