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Dubai's driverless transport goals achievable, says Google X founder

Khaleej Times logo Khaleej Times 27/10/2021 Waheed Abbas
Reuters © Provided by Khaleej Times Reuters

Dubai is extremely innovative when it comes to the future of transportation, and the emirate can achieve its vision of having 25 per cent of all transportation trips be smart and driverless by 2030, said Sebastian Thrun, professor at Stanford, founder of Google X, CEO of Kitty Hawk.

Known as the 'godfather' of autonomous driving, Thrun spoke at the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Wednesday.

"I always love being here because Dubai is an innovative and forward-thinking city in keeping public safety as the new transport industries evolve," he said during his keynote speech, adding that Dubai's target to make 25 per cent of transport driverless by 2030 is realistic and achievable. The event was attended by senior officials of the Roads and Transport Authority and executives from the private sector.

"I am extremely delighted to be here today. I always follow Dubai, especially the government, because it's the leader when it comes to forward-thinking transportation solutions. Dubai is a city that is progressively suffering from ground transportation and cars. And this is an opportunity to think out of the box and invent the future."

He pointed out that the future of transportation will be in the air.

"Imagine, you summon a taxi, and it lands right in front of you. You hop inside, and it takes you to your target location. There is nothing more important for an economy than to transport people from one place to another."

He said air transport was safer than road transport as 1.2 million people lose their lives every year due to traffic accidents.

"I really hope that you don't have an expert who says that this target of 25 per cent of transport trips to be driverless by 2030 can't be achieved. It can absolutely be done. So please do it and show the world how to do it," he said.

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