Dubai: Around 1,000 smart and electric vehicles with autonomous driving features will be part of the Expo 2020 Dubai’s transport fleet, a senior Expo official announced on Sunday.
To be supplied by Nissan, which will be Expo’s official automotive partner, the vehicles will be used for multiple purposes in the run up to and throughout the Expo.
“We are proud to announce Nissan as Expo 2020 Dubai’s automotive partner, providing intelligent mobility solutions that will help us operate and showcase the future of sustainable movement,” said Manal Al Bayat, Senior Vice-President, Business Development and Integration, Expo 2020 Dubai.
She added that a significant percentage of the fleet will be electric vehicles as well as those with connected mobility features.
“Throughout history, World expos have been associated with these forward leaps for mankind and at Expo 2020 we will be doing just that, moving people in way that will provide a window into how future of mobility will look like,” said Al Bayat, as she announced the partnership with Nissan.
Though, some of the vehicles operating inside the Expo site will have autonomous features, it is not clear whether fully autonomous mobility is part of Expo’s transport options.
“We are proud of being part of this prestigious partnership and we are still working on the details of the different transport solutions. What I can say right now is that a significant number of electric vehicles, including Nissan Leaf, will operate within the Expo site. The fleet of 1,000 vehicles will be based on what the Expo will require for a variety of purposes and we will be offering our services based on their requirements,” said Kalyana Sivagnanam, President Nissan Middle East.
Apart from operating a fleet ranging from commercial and passenger vehicles, the partnership will also cover last mile solutions for regular visitors connecting with the Dubai Metro station that is currently under construction.
“We are looking at various options for the last mile solution within the expo site. We are in talks with the Roads and Transport Authority [RTA] and we are also in discussion on this with Nissan to see what we can come up with. But we are definitely looking at intelligent mobility options,” added Al Bayat.
As mobility and sustainability are two of Expo 2020’s sub-themes, Al Bayat said movement within and to the Expo sites will reflect these themes and carry on in the future as a legacy of the Expo.
“When we look at the mobility sector, the world is seeing an evolution, it’s not just cars that are changing it terms of what they do, but it’s also the whole sector. Through this partnership, Nissan is going to help us showcase what sustainable and intelligent mobility will look like during the Expo,” she said.
The environment inside the Expo site is being built on a connected model of non-congested, traffic-lights free, zero accident mobility.
Construction on schedule
Meanwhile, construction work at the 4.3 square kilometre Expo 2020 site near Dubai World Central is moving on schedule, with the basic infrastructure expected to be ready by mid-2018.
The site, divided along three sub themes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability will host 180 pavilions, with the UAE having the largest of the national pavilions.
Being built with a lasting legacy in mind, once the six-month long expo is wrapped up, the site will transform into a future city, hosting industries, commercial establishments, mixed use neighbourhoods and museums, called District 2020.
Currently, 8,000 workers are busy shaping the city of the future, pouring 6,100 cubic metre of concrete every week.