Is Abu Dhabi the future of smart & autonomous vehicles?

Abu Dhabi’s Smart & Autonomous Vehicle Industries cluster will advance the sector, says Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development

Abu Dhabi is continuing its developments in sustainability as it works towards being a technological leader in the global transition to clean energy. 

Located at Masdar City, the new Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industries (SAVI) cluster aims to position Abu Dhabi as a leading smart and autonomous vehicles hub. 

"Abu Dhabi is uniquely positioned to lead the charge in advancing technology and commercialisation within the smart and autonomous vehicles sector,” says Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

“Backed by a proven track record of accelerated innovation and built on a robust industrial base, the emirate both embraces and shapes global trends, supercharging the sector by leveraging its infrastructure, talent, progressive regulatory mindset, and key location at the crossroads of global trade.

“As a catalyst for Abu Dhabi’s diversification, SAVI is a game changer that will unleash extraordinary economic growth and create new opportunities for talent, entrepreneurs, and investors. SAVI is projected to contribute AED90-AED120 billion to the UAE economy and generate 30,000-50,000 jobs, which will create an extended ripple effect benefitting various sectors, and taking our smart, diversified, sustainable Falcon Economy to new heights.”

Developments for global sustainability

SAVI will develop Abu Dhabi’s already established stake in global sustainability, and leverage its industrial base and unparalleled access to established air corridors, road infrastructure and global network of partners.

As well as enabling access to funding and investments, SAVI will facilitate and fund innovation, unite global stakeholders, streamline regulatory services and accelerate the adoption of future urban and mobility services.

It will be home to academia, test zones, research and development labs, testing and certification facilities, large scale workshops, hangars, manufacturing facilities and more.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) are at the forefront of the development of SAVI, including management of the design, testing, and manufacturing of applications for transportation and mobility, as well as to service other sectors such as logistics. 

“The General Civil Aviation Authority is committed to creating a supportive environment for the adoption and integration of smart and future mobility technologies in the aviation sector, in line with the country’s commitment to move towards a more adaptable economic model that prioritises sustainability and future readiness,” comments Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director-general of GCAA. 

Smart and autonomous vehicle development

SAVI is part of Abu Dhabi’s goals to create a one-stop-shop regulatory service for certification, licensing, authorisations and intellectual property (IP) management. The comprehensive, growth-enabling regulatory support will promote the adoption of future smart and autonomous applications in the UAE and beyond, and create the foundations for Abu Dhabi as the base for global players in the industry. 

Further development in technologies surrounding autonomous and smart vehicles are to be expected — as Abu Dhabi accelerates its stake in the industry, it will be interesting to see what comes out of SAVI. 


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