Roads and Transport Authority

RTA is a government transportation authority in Dubai, specializes in planning and overseeing the rail, roads and marine transportation networks.

Sustainability News

RTA launches test run of VDL bus compatible with European Emissions Standards

HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched the test run of a VDL bus, the first bus to join RTA fleet compatible with the European Emissions Standards (Euro 6). Such buses are characterized by their lightweight and low fuel consumption.


“RTA attaches high priority to conserving the environment and optimizing power consumption as Safety & Environmental Sustainability is part & parcel of RTA’s strategic goals. This drive is in line with the national initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in 2012 calling for building a Green Economy in the UAE under the theme: ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Development.’ The move conforms to the Dubai Government’s energy & carbon control strategy seeking to make Dubai a model to be emulated in power efficiency and low emissions. The trial operation of the new VDL Bus signals RTA’s keenness to revamp its public bus fleet to keep pace with the top practices worldwide and offer top of the range services to public transport riders in Dubai,” said Al Tayer.


“RTA will put the new bus on a trial operation for six months to assess the economic feasibility and environmental benefits of its operation. It would also examine the reduction in carbon emission rate, engine efficiency, and maintenance cost among other perimeters,” added RTA’s Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors. 


Al Tayer inspected the new VDL bus and attended a briefing about the technical specifications of the bus. It weighs about 9650 KG, which is remarkably lower than the weight of the older model of VDL bus being 11200 KG. The new bus has a seating capacity of 45 riders whereas the older version has seats for 34 riders. The new bus has an improved fuel efficiency at a rate ranging from 10 to 15% and a lower carbon emission rate, which brings the carbon footprint of the new bus to the barest minimum to match the highest European standards. It has a low-floor entry to facilitate the movement of the People of Determination. It also has high-class finishing standards with wide seats offering full convenience to riders.


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RTA Introduces Paperless Testing Through an Interactive Voice System

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has rolled out a new smart technology for testing its buses using an interactive voice system. The system eliminates the need for completing forms and using paper in testing buses. The system works by converting the voice of the inspector into a written text. This initiative gives a good boost for RTA’s relentless efforts to embrace modern technology to upgrade performance and operations. The step also supports the Smart Government drive in the Emirate of Dubai.

“The use of smart technologies in maintenance works is no longer a luxury, rather a necessity dictated by our commitment to the optimal & sustainable utilisation of RTA’s assets, and the delivery of safe & smooth transport services to all. It was therefore imperative to contemplate this new system which enables the technical inspector/tester to carry out a visual inspection of the bus without bothering to take paper, complete bus details or even carry a smart tab,” said Abdullah Rashid Al Maazami, Director of Maintenance & Services, RTA Public Transport Agency.

“This new technology features an interactive voice between the inspector and a device worn on his waist connected by earphones. The device on the waist   dictates the tester to carry out the testing steps in sequence and inspecting key components & elements to be tested & diagnosed. It also enables the tester to figure out parts of the engine, test them and diagnose faults through providing voice responses to a series of preset sequential procedures. The System converts the voice of the tester into a written text, and captures images and uploads them to the database of Asset Management Department. The process reflects positively on the quality of testing & inspection, eliminates errors & omissions of key testing components, and reduces the response time for rectifying faults,” explained Al Maazami.

“The testing of buses using the interactive voice response is a further step towards leveraging Dubai endeavours to rank as the smartest city in the world. It also realises RTA’s strategic goals focused on the smart government, online transition to eliminate paper forms, save the time, and improve the quality of testing & repairs,” added the Director of Maintenance & Services, RTA Public Transport Agency.


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Roads and Transport Authority deploys 50 Tesla electric vehicles

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group, and Chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, has launched the operation of 50 Tesla electric vehicles to the limo fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation. HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) attended the launch of these vehicles which are fitted with several components of self-driving techniques. 

The operation of Tesla electric vehicles is a manifestation of the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. It also replicates the Green Economy for Sustainable Development Initiative of HH, and the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy aimed at converting 25% of total journeys into driverless journeys by 2030 and is part of RTA’s expeditious efforts to provide self-driving transit means by going through technological tests designed for autonomous transit means. 

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports along with senior executives of Dubai Airports attended the launch ceremony which was held at the entrance of the Dubai International Airport (Terminal 3). Also in attendance was Peter Bardenfleth, representing Tesla, the world’s leading manufacturer of autonomous vehicles. 

HH Sheikh Ahmed attended a briefing by HE Mattar Al Tayer about the operational plan of Tesla vehicles as part of Dubai Taxi limousines fleet. “The RTA has recently taken delivery of 50 Tesla vehicles as part of a deal for 200 vehicles signed last February on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2017. Accordingly, 75 vehicles will be supplied in 2018, and 75 others to be delivered in 2019. The Dubai Taxi Corporation has coordinated with the concerned parties to provide the needed infrastructure to ensure the operation of these vehicles including the provision of 13 electric recharging stations,” said Al Tayer.

“The vehicles contracted by the RTA are of two models: (S) from Sedan and (X) from SUVs of Tesla make. Model (S) has garnered the largest possible rating of safety at the time of launch as it can cover the longest distance amongst electric vehicles. Besides its performance & facilities, Model (X) has a unique feature as it is fitted with falcon wing doors, panoramic windshield, a seven-seat configuration that provides an unprecedented level of comfort, and manoeuvrability. Both models can benefit from the free over-the-air software updates that add new features and functionality over time. Besides deploying robust electric vehicles, Tesla has also designed a new and unique series of power generation and storage such as Powerwall and Powerpack technologies and batteries. When combined, the three key components can make a positive impact on the world: electric cars, renewable energy and batteries.

“Tesla vehicles procured by the RTA of Models (S) and (X) are equipped with the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level greater than that of a human driver. Tesla’s Autopilot is designed as a hands-on experience to give drivers more confidence behind the wheel, increase their safety on the road, and make highway driving more enjoyable by reducing the driver’s workload,” added Al Tayer.

Afterwards, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, accompanied by HE Mattar Al Tayer, boarded one of the vehicles for a short tour. HH then launched the operation of Tesla vehicles and posed for photos with attendees with the fleet on the background

Last year, Tesla developed a hybrid system for the generation and storage of solar energy in Tesla vehicles and broadening the scope of the company to manufacture heavy vehicles & trucks. It has also improved the autonomous driving systems to migrate from the semi-autonomous to the fully autonomous system. It is also working on improving the shared transport through the development of service systems for the upcoming generation. 

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