Governments must plan now for transport projects of the future

Road and Transport Authority head Mattar Al Tayer tells World Government Summit that authorities need to be braced for rapid advancements in technology

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Self-driving vehicles, the high-speed Hyperloop and air taxis will help Dubai meet the transport needs of the future.

But authorities must have the necessary infrastructure in place to deal with the rapid developments in technology, said Mattar Al Tayer, director general of the emirate's Road and Transport Authority (RTA), during the World Government Summit.

Mr Al Tayer said that advancements in artificial intelligence and the gathering of large data had left Dubai in a perfect position to market itself as a leader of innovation in the transport sector.

“Self-driving transport, the Hyperloop and air taxis coupled with the advancements in artificial intelligence and the gathering of large amounts of data are going to allow us to meet the needs of future customers,” he said.

Mr Al Tayer said modes of future transportation were going to be so different from what are currently used to that governments must ready themselves for the changes to come.

“The provision of appropriate infrastuctures is going to be a key enabler when it comes to future mobility,” he said.

“This is going to require provisions inside different parts of cities for air taxis, which means having airstrips integrated with more traditional means of transport.

“There is a clear need to provide legislation for the operation and organisation of each future vehicle,” he said.

This, he said, would require governments across the world being given time to conduct tests before implementing new modes of transportation.