Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, is inviting selected industry specialists to develop the next phase of the driverless vehicle transit network serving Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban development.
The competition was announced today during (ADSW), which runs from January 12-21. The competition is seeking viable mobility solutions that respect the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainability on which Masdar City is based.
A Review and Advisory Committee of leading clean-tech companies and experts will help select the winning developer.
Emissions-free vehicular transport within Masdar City has, since November 2010, been provided by a pilot driverless Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system which links the development’s northern carpark with Masdar Institute (MI).
“We have been a pioneer for driverless vehicles since 2010 and the PRT system has become an iconic feature of Masdar City,” said Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director of Masdar’s Sustainable Real Estate division, the developer of Masdar City. “More importantly, in carrying more than 2 million passengers, it has generated an immense volume of data to guide the future development of driverless vehicle solutions, both within the city and in other urban settings.”
He added: “We are now pleased to invite leading transport solution providers to help devise the future mobility roadmap for Masdar City, in line with the anticipated growth of the development over the coming years. This will enable us to benefit from the rapid evolution of driverless vehicles in recent years, while staying true to our vision for low-carbon mobility.”
Formal entry and evaluation criteria for the competition will be announced by the end of February. The selected solution must be driverless, autonomous and emissions free. An ability to operate outdoors in the arid, desert climate of the Gulf is essential, and the winning entry must also follow Abu Dhabi safety regulations, integrate with Masdar City’s pedestrian areas and with other types of vehicle transport. It will cover a 1-kilometre route linking Masdar Institute, the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the recently announced My City Centre Masdar retail development.
“By introducing today’s commercially viable sustainable transportation solutions, such as electric and hybrid vehicles, into Masdar City, we can demonstrate their capabilities and play an important role in driving their widespread adoption,” added Baselaib.
According to IRENA, headquartered in Masdar City, transport accounts for around a third (30%) of total global energy consumption. Carbon emissions from transport have also increased 28 per cent since 2000, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Meanwhile, the size of the global electric and hybrid vehicle market will account for 35% of global car sales by 2040, according to IEA estimates. This is 90 times more than the 2015 baseline.
The adoption of commercially viable sustainable transport solutions is a key focus of this year’s ADSW. A variety of products and solutions will be on show within the Sustainable Transport Zone at the 10th World Future Energy Summit at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Further illustrating the importance of mobility solutions at ADSW, Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Toyota Motors Corporation, will deliver a keynote speech at Abu Dhabi Global Action Day on January 16.
Sustainable mobility is a core component of Masdar City’s expansion. Besides pedestrian walkways and cycling paths, its master plan accommodates Light Rail Transit (LRT) and General Rapid Transit (GRT) systems. It also integrates with a metro service currently in the planning phase, linking Abu Dhabi International Airport with downtown Abu Dhabi.
A low-carbon urban development and economic free zone, Masdar City serves as a “greenprint” for cities of the future. It seamlessly blends traditional Arabic architecture with state-of-the-art technology to maximise energy and water efficiency. Masdar City will host 50,000 residents and a working population of 40,000 people by 2030.