Dubai leading the way in ‘Smart Cities’ initiatives; TRL at the forefront of transformational shift

TRL welcomes emirate’s move to promote use of hybrid cars and electric vehicles and the creation of a low-carbon economy

March 06, 2017

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Industry analysts and experts have lauded Dubai’s leading and continuing efforts to become the first fully-fledged smart city. TRL, the global centre for innovation in transport and mobility, has expressed its commitment to this initiative, placing themselves at the forefront of this transformational shift. In line with this, TRL has also raised the importance of improved sustainable mobility in the move to become a smart city. Sustainable mobility has increasingly become an integral and critical part of transport policy throughout the world. In the UAE, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy has revealed the adoption of a strategy to achieve sustainable development via the creation of a low-carbon economy. This includes the increased adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles. TRL welcomes this development and has committed support for this Dubai program.

Recent reports have shown that countries in the GCC region hold the top spots for leaving the largest ecological footprints in the world, which has prompted the need to increase public awareness about the significance of protecting the environment. One of the key solutions being seen to help address this challenge is the emerging demand and interest in the presence of plug-in electric and hybrid cars. These new forms of transport are expected to play an important role in the development of sustainable mobility in the UAE.

TRL has recently further strengthened its sustainable mobility capabilities to meet growing demand from businesses, governments and municipalities seeking evidence-based, creative solutions for their sustainable transport needs. The move by TRL reaffirms its frontline role in shaping the future of transport, providing a deep market-leading ability to meet the needs of its clients and respective markets.

Specifically, the enhanced capabilities provide research, consultancy and technology solutions for the development, introduction, use and evaluation of low emission and sustainable transport options for the movement of people and goods. Core areas of expertise include sustainable transport, low carbon vehicles, air quality, low emission strategies, freight policy and efficiency and active travel.

“These are exciting times, as Dubai seeks to lead the region in the move towards executing an innovative shift and becoming one of the world’s first fully fledged smart cities. Emerging smart cities will also need smart mobility at their core,” said Akin Adamson, Director- Middle East, TRL. “We are now seeing the introduction of newer makes and models of electric and plug-in hybrid cars being recommended as a practical choice for some drivers. TRL is aiming to combine its frontline role in helping shape the future of transport by offering its research, covering areas such as autonomous and connected vehicles, ultra-low emission vehicles and smart cities/transportation innovations to help Dubai realise its vision of having a sustainable transport system that can fully complement its smart city status.”

According to recent studies made by TRL in other markets, the UK has seen a 716 percent growth in plug-in electric vehicles (PIVs) registrations. The research firm has predicted that, with the increases in battery size and charger ratings, PIVs and hybrids are set to become commonplace, with a widening mass appeal. TRL has been appointed to oversee the delivery of CarConnect, a pioneering project that will help the electricity industry better understand how PIVs charge at home in harmony with the electricity grid. In addition to CarConnect, TRL has also worked on GATEway, which is aimed towards understanding and overcoming the technical, legal and societal challenges of implementing automated vehicles in an urban environment. Other notable projects include MOVE_UK and the Consumers, Vehicles and Energy Integration (CVEI) project. TRL has also completed a number of feasibility studies, including ZeEUS, a trial on behalf of the European Commission of wirelessly charged electric buses in 12 cities across the EU, such as London.

“Governments and businesses in the GCC are under increasing pressure to cut harmful emissions, improve air quality and encourage more sustainable methods of travel. This challenge is a critical part of TRL’s investment priorities, ensuring TRL retains and strengthens its leading role in supporting organisations to create a global transport system that is safe, clean, affordable and efficient. Dubai’s transportation system is making leaps and bounds in addressing the needs and demands of its growing population. We are confident that we have the essential capabilities and knowledge in helping Dubai plan and adopt a safe, accessible and sustainable transport system for the future,” concluded Adamson.

TRL has been advising clients in the UAE for more than nine years and operates across the Middle East region. TRL has been offering its world-class capabilities in the UAE—including road safety, traffic & congestion management, materials research & testing and sustainability. It has also previously performed consultancy and research studies in Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Lebanon and Egypt.

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