HD in the city
Location outfit Here is partnering with Dubai to map the city with high definition technology. The big idea here is for Dubai to lean heavily on high-definition maps so that it can reach a target of making one-quarter of its public transport self-driving by 2030.
Here – formerly a Nokia unit but now operated by Audi, BMW, and Mercedes – and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai plan to conduct a series of pilots to enable HD Live Map, Here’s tool for autonomous cars, to provide public service vehicles with up-to-date information about what is happening on the road. Here says the map serves up a “self-healing, highly accurate view of the world that perpetually informs, gathers, then redistributes information about roadways”.
Also in play will be the Here Open Location platform to connect vehicles on the road with a network of other intelligence providers, including infrastructure elements such as street lights, variable speed limit and traffic detection gear.
What’s this about?
Dubai has hugely ambitious plans for its transportation infrastructure. In 2016, it inked a deal with the Hyperloop One high-speed train system to explore the possibility of connecting the city to Abu Dhabi.
And last year it conducted a test flight for the world’s first autonomous airborne taxi service. Developed by Germany’s Volocopter, the cab can fly for up to 30 minutes without requiring guidance.
And the bigger picture?
Also last year, Dubai announced its Dubai 10X initiative, bullishly saying it was embracing disruptive innovation to ‘actively shape the future’ and place itself ‘10 years ahead’ of all other cities.