New UAE award encourages e-vehicle innovation

Emirates International Future Mobility Award to encourage autonomous and eco-friendly vehicle sector

Abu Dhabi: The UAE will promote innovations in electric and autonomous vehicles that will withstand hot weather in the region.

A new award constituted by the UAE is expected to lead innovations in this direction, especially in battery capacity, wireless charging and related aspects, a top official said here on Wednesday.

“One of the important aspects to be considered within the electric mobility system in the region is ‘weather’ — especially the very hot and humid summer. Thus the durability of the battery, fast charging, capacity of charging, wireless charging and disposal of batteries play an important role in future mobility,” said Abdullah Al Maeeni, director-general of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma).

Esma has launched the Emirates International Future Mobility Award to encourage the UAE’s academic and research authorities and university students to innovate systems in the autonomous and eco-friendly vehicle sector, he said at the fourth International Conference on Future Mobility organised by Esma in association with the Department of Transport (DoT) in Abu Dhabi.

Shaikh Theyab Bin Mohammad, chairman of Department of Transport and member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, opened the conference and toured the exhibition of electric and autonomous vehicles.

He stressed that the intelligent transport sector has become a pivotal part of the economy of the future, an important pillar of sustainable development and a central element in achieving its objectives.

Al Maeeni said the award winning projects will be sponsored and adopted by the major vehicle manufacturers worldwide.

The companies will develop and apply the winning ideas and allow the winners to pay on-site visits to their vehicle production lines and check out the latest technology they are using, he said at the two-day conference.

The three-category award will promote sustainable mobility using clean energy and digital innovation relying on solutions and applications to improve connection and communication between vehicles. The third category of green infrastructure will encourage projects such as batteries, charging systems and stations and safe disposal of batteries in an environmentally friendly manner, Al Maeeni said.

The GCC countries have adopted the UAE project for electric vehicles, which will be circulated at the level of the six countries, he said.

Accordingly, GCC bodies will issue a certificate of conformity to the electric vehicles, said Al Maeeni

Esma hosted a specialised introduction workshop to train emergency response agencies such as police, Civil Defence and ambulance on how to deal with accidents involving electric vehicles, the official said. It is in the process of developing the necessary regulatory frameworks and infrastructure for technical legislation and standard specifications of autonomous vehicles.

Christian Drakulic, director of Innovation at the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation, and Technology, said the UAE, with its relatively new transport infrastructure, is uniquely positioned to be an early adopter of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in future mobility solutions.

“Compared to Europe, the UAE doesn’t have long-lasting history in transport infrastructure, yet this might to some extent turn out as an advantage since the country doesn’t need to consider an ‘old heritage’ with stranded investments and technically determined mobility patterns,” said Drakulic.

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