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.
The competition is seeking viable mobility solutions that respect the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainability on which Masdar City is based, a statement said.
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).
Yousef Baselaib, executive director of Masdar’s Sustainable Real Estate division, the developer of Masdar City, said the system has so far carried more than 2 million passengers.
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 also essential.
“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 of total global energy consumption. Carbon emissions from transport have also increased 28 percent since 2000, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Meanwhile, the size of the global electric and hybrid vehicle market will account for 35 percent of global car sales by 2040, according to IEA estimates. This is 90 times more than the 2015 baseline.
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.
Masdar City will host 50,000 residents and a working population of 40,000 people by 2030.