Dubai summit sheds light on connected, autonomous, and greener future on GCC roads; exhibition showcases eco-friendly vehicles
Dubai, UAE, November 14, 2016: The 2nd International Conference on Future Mobility got under way at the Grand Hyatt Dubai today, opened by H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin-Fahad, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) Board of Directors.
More than 250 delegates from 25 countries representing over 50 organisations are attending the two-day summit, where an expert speaker line-up is sharing insights into a connected, autonomous, and greener future on regional and global roads.
A co-located exhibition also shines the spotlight on vehicles using the latest in smart eco-friendly technology from manufacturers such as Toyota, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen.
The 2nd ICFM is hosted by ESMA, and organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East. H.E. Abdulla Abdulqader Al Maeeni, Director General for hosts ESMA, delivered the inaugural keynote address: “The 2nd ICFM comes at a pivotal point, where both the regional and global automotive industry is undergoing major transformations,” he said.
“At this year’s conference we’ve expanded the scope to include smart, connected and autonomous vehicles, in addition to topics covering electric and hybrid vehicles.
“This is an important platform for government authorities, automotive consultants, manufacturers and other relevant industry players to exchange ideas, understand the best practices and gain knowledge about the latest global developments and technology advancements.”
“We welcome various stake holders gathered here to join hands with ESMA in realising the vision of our national leadership as UAE leads the way driving mobility into a smart, clean and connected future”, he added.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, added: “With the GCC on the brink of witnessing an exciting transformation in sustainable mobility, the UAE is continuing its tradition of being in the forefront of promoting innovation and being a leader in effecting positive change.
“We are delighted to bring together an exciting conference programme and exhibition showcasing leadership in green mobility solutions and the fully autonomous vehicle.”
Len Hunt, the President of Al-Futtaim Automotive Group, delivered one of the keynote addresses on the opening morning of the 2nd ICFM. Hunt spoke about the partnership between Al-Futtaim Motors, leader in sustainable mobility and exclusive distributor of Toyota and Lexus in the UAE, Toyota Motor Corporation and Air Liquide, one of the most established suppliers of hydrogen stations in the world.
“This is a significant step forward in our journey towards contributing to the possible development of a hydrogen society, in which everything from vehicles to work and living places are powered by the zero-emission hydrogen,” said Hunt.
“More importantly for the UAE, using hydrogen as a primary source of fuel considerably expedites achieving the sustainability targets set by the UAE Government, and helps the country significantly reduce its CO2 footprint in the coming decades.”
Hunt compared the UAE to other forward-thinking countries around the world, such as Japan, the USA and several European states, all of which have implemented a hydrogen fueling infrastructure to support the deployment of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles.
“The UAE is an exemplary country to pioneer new green technologies such as the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, particularly given the environmental goals set by the Government, such as the ones set by the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, aiming at making Dubai a global centre of clean energy and green economy,” explained Hunt.
The afternoon session on Day One was spearheaded by Soeren O. Ekelund, the Chief Technology Officer for Next Road Vehicle (NeRVe) in Denmark, who delivered a presentation about smart technology, smart vehicles, and super societies.
Ekelund said there was no question that the world is embarking on a new and exciting era in mobility and transportation: “We’re at a turning point in human history where, with the help of technology, we can make sustainable development a tangible reality,” said Ekelund.
“There’s no better place to explore all this wonderful innovation than Dubai, a fast-emerging hub of sustainable and smart technology. And the 2nd International Conference on Future Mobility is a unique platform for showcasing all that is new and relevant in the industry. We are privileged to take part”.
The 2nd International Conference on Future Mobility also showcased a number of eco-friendly cars by Lead Sponsor Al Futtaim Motors and Platinum Sponsor Mercedes Benz.
Some of the exhibits worth mentioning were the Toyota Mirai powered by a new Hydrogen Fuel Cell; the Toyota Camry Hybrid - using a mix of petrol and electricity driven motors; the Lexus CT, the Lexus RX Hybrid and the Lexus GS Hybrid. Mercedes Benz meanwhile showcased their B-Class Electric Drive, the new E-Class intelligent executive sedan and the GLE 500 e 4matic plug-in hybrid technology SUV.
The conference also hosted a high-level roundtable involving key government authorities and industry stakeholders. The roundtable discussion focused on key infrastructure development that is required to achieve mass market acceptance for the usage of hybrid and electric vehicles.
Various government authorities outlined their plans and initiatives for the development of necessary infrastructure, regulations and approvals for usage. The takeaways from the discussions at the roundtable is set to play a key role in transitioning the UAE government’s vision of a smart sustainable future in the transport sector into a reality.
Another roundtable tomorrow (15 November 2016) will focus on government policies for connected and self-driving vehicles, current challenges in their implementation and the way forward for autonomous driving in the region.
The 2nd International Conference on Future Mobility welcomes the involvement of key international and regional Government Authorities, Regulators and Associations, including the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) as Strategic Partners; the UK Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles; the European Commission; the International Road Transport Union; and the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.
More information is available at: www.mobility-future.com.