UAE-headquartered property developer, Emaar Properties, has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to carry out a study on autonomous vehicles.

Under the terms of the deal, the two entities will implement the study using smart signals at the crossings between Dubai Mall and the Boulevard areas.

Remarking on the deal, Maitha bin Adai, chief executive officer of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency, said: “The self-driving vehicles have brought new challenges and perceptions to our road infrastructure, which warrants upgrading the existing technology in an innovative manner to mark the world’s first autonomous vehicles initiative.

“The joint venture is a fruitful outcome of the study of autonomous vehicles plying the Dubai Mall and the Boulevard areas using, in the initial phase, smart interactive systems between these vehicles and traffic signals on some intersections, controlled by signalised traffic lights.”

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She added: "This drive is expected to further boost Dubai's standing in the forefront of global cities in implementing clean transport solutions that contribute to achieving sustainable development. This is because innovation in the transportation sector and mobility solutions in the city is one of the key pillars of the Dubai Smart Vision, launched by the Dubai Government."

Meanwhile, Ahmed Thani Al Matrooshi, managing director of Emaar Properties, commented: "The joint venture is another conclusive testament reflecting Dubai’s commitment to promoting sustainable transport patterns consistent with the objective of the Dubai 2021 Plan to build a smart city.

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“We are poised to incorporate this clean and smart initiative into our future mega-project, Dubai Creek Port, in line with Dubai's autonomous vehicles strategy launched recently."

According to UAE state news agency, WAM, the agreement was signed on the sidelines of the International Road Federation (IRF) Middle East and North Africa.