Qatar Launches Autonomous Vehicles Strategy for Smart and Sustainable Transit Systems

Qatar has taken a significant step towards providing smart and environmentally conscious transit systems with the launch of the Autonomous Vehicles Strategy. The strategy, unveiled by Minister of Transport H E Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, aims to regulate the terms and conditions of using autonomous vehicles in Qatar over the next five years. This initiative was announced during the Ministry of Transport’s “Sustainable Transportation and Legacy for Generations” Conference and Exhibition in Doha.

The inauguration of the strategy took place under the patronage of Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. Various officials, including Minister of Interior and Commander of Internal Security Force H E Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Governor of Qatar Central Bank H E Sheikh Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saoud Al Thani, attended the ceremony.

According to Minister Al Sulaiti, the e-bus operation in Qatar has already reached 70% completion as of Q3 2023. The goal is to completely transform the public bus system to run on electricity by 2030. This aligns with Qatar’s National Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV2030). Minister Al Sulaiti emphasized that Qatar’s investments in infrastructure projects and transportation sector support services are in line with the directives of H H the Amir, resulting in an integrated, connected, and sustainable transit system.

In addition to the focus on electric vehicles, the Ministry of Transport is studying the standards and specifications of EVs along with relevant bodies to establish minimum technical specifications and safety standards. The ministry also plans to create a center for inspecting and verifying EV specifications and issuing approval certificates.

Minister Al Sulaiti highlighted the progress in maritime transportation, stating that Hamad Port has become a regional hub for re-exportation and transshipping. He noted that Al Ruwais Port plays a key role in revitalizing regional trade exchange through ongoing enhancements and the completion of the third phase of the port’s development plan. Moreover, the maritime transportation sector is expanding its overseas investments through QTerminals, which has a presence in several world ports and plans to expand to the Netherlands.

Regarding air transportation, Minister Al Sulaiti announced that over 26,500 aircraft movements were recorded at Hamad International Airport and Doha International Airport during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Qatar has also achieved a milestone in airspace management with the operation of the S-band radar system and long-range L-band radar, enabling full management of the Doha Flight Information Region (FIR). The number of air transportation agreements signed with countries worldwide has reached 175, which opens up opportunities for the national carrier to expand its network of global destinations.

The Conference and Exhibition showcased the latest sustainable transportation technologies and innovations. Panel discussions focused on topics such as switching to electric and sustainable transportation, the integration of public transportation, and the active engagement of the private sector in developing the transportation system.

Overall, Qatar’s Autonomous Vehicles Strategy marks a significant move towards a smart and sustainable transit system, aligning with Qatar’s vision for a greener and technologically advanced future.

Sources:
– Ministry of Transport
– National Environment and Climate Change Strategy
– Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV2030)