driverless cars need lighttouch and flexible regulation to succeed
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Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Driverless cars need light-touch and flexible regulation to succeed

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Driverless cars need light-touch and flexible regulation to succeed

Badr Al Olama, the chief executive of Strata Manufacturing
Dubai - Arab Today

UAE lawmakers and regulators must be bold when setting new regulations for the operation of autonomous vehicles to push ahead for the future, says Badr Al Olama, Strata’s chief executive.
Dubai has set a target of 25 per cent of all journeys being made via driverless transport by 2030 and has already conducted auto­nomous vehicle trials in key downtown locations.
Mr Al Olama said that the UAE had the opportunity to be a pioneer in the adoption of driverless vehicles and urged regulators to adopt sound, but flexible, regulations.
"In this part of the world we’ve always been on the receiving end, for once we want to be on the contributing end," Mr Al Olama told The National on the sidelines of a press conference in Dubai.
"If you over-regulate something you’re going to kill it. What we need to do with the regulations is make sure they’re developed so that they work in harmony and go through a process of self-correcting … over time."
Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) last month signed an agreement with Tesla to purchase 200 electric-powered cars, equipped with a semi-autonomous autopilot option, to supplement Dubai Taxi Corporation’s limousine fleet.
The adoption of driverless vehicle technology required a significant mindset shift among regulators and legislators around the world, said Mr Al Olama.
"This is a time when we’re transitioning from one generation to another and that transition, anywhere in the world, isn’t going to be easy," Mr Al Olama said.
"You have people that are used to doing things in a certain way and then you have people that are coming up with new and fresh ideas to do things in a different way. That transition is always going to have a little bit of friction."
"What government needs to do, whether at the level of Dubai, Abu Dhabi or at federal level, is to bring these people together, get them to understand the different points of view and help them move forward," he added.
Mr Al Olama spoke to The National in his capacity as the head of the organising committee for Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, which takes place this month in Abu Dhabi, with the impact of auto­nomous transport high on the agenda.
The regulators will need to achieve a delicate balance when it comes to autonomous transport, said William Reichart, a Dubai-based partner with the law firm K&L Gates, with legislation tending to be reactive ­rather than proactive in its approach to new technologies.
"The laws are there to protect us, but if you impose too many laws it can stunt growth and can stunt innovation," Mr Reich­art said in Dubai yesterday.
"Regulators need to be careful to protect but not hinder development."
Driverless transport first came to Dubai in September 2009 with the launch of the Dubai Metro. The metro system accounts for about 9 per cent of all journeys taken in the emirate.


Source: The National

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