Imagine a future where you don’t have to drive or park anymore. You get to the mall, get out close to your preferred destination and your car heads off to park itself. It’s the stuff of science fiction, right? We think not! The future is almost here.

Not only will self-driving and self-parking cars be convenient for you but they will significantly reduce the requirement for parking space.

According to a transportation expert who spoke at the Cityscape Global Conference held in Dubai, this can mean over $1 billion in savings for Dubai.

Over the next five years, around 100,000 new parking spaces are required for new and existing malls in Dubai, according to Andy Stevenson, Future Mobility Director at Mott MacDonald. Stevenson said that Autonomous vehicles or AVs should happen soon as there is a need to lessen the impact of the increased requirement for parking spaces. There needs to be a balance between the number of parking spaces, the time it takes for visitors to disembark and the car to park itself.

In this scenario, about 40 percent of the parking requirement can be eliminated by increasing the number of drop off points. “With this change in behavior, we will no longer need 40,000 car park spaces due to autonomous vehicles and this will translate into savings of around $1 billion (Dh3.65b) in savings. And the space saved can be used for additional gross floor area (GFA) of the or electric vehicle charging,” Stevenson explained.

Research conducted by the University of Toronto found that “since passengers and drivers can get out of the car beforehand, you don’t need to open the door once parked and you can cram more cars in a given space.”

“In a parking lot full of AVs, you don’t need to open the doors, and cars can park with very little space in between (as compared to conventional cars),” reports Professor Matthew Roorda, author of the research. He added, “If autonomous cars work together, even more space can be saved. You can cram the cars like sardines, which self-parking cars allow you to do.”


Mobility innovation is here and developers need to plan and prepare for it. Parking areas need to become flexible and future-proofed so that they can be re-purposed or adapted to emerging technologies. Malls, airports, hospitals, schools, stadiums, and other establishments need to gear up and install additional drop-off and pick-up points to ensure that they are ready to effectively benefit from the self-driving revolution.

Roads and Transport Authority: Self-Driving Cars To Hit The Roads Soon

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) recently announced that it has endorsed standards for testing of electric, hybrid, and autonomous vehicles (AVs), paving the way for self-driving cars to hit the roads of Dubai.

The RTA said that even though no fixed date has been set as of yet, AVs will become a fixture on the roads soon because the government is going to ensure that the emirate is “pioneering” in the field.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai Smart Self-Driving vision in 2016. Subsequently, Dubai set a goal of having 25 percent of all journeys in the city to be self-driving by 2030.

According to Abdullah Yousef Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Licensing Agency, the RTA has conducted 66 workshops with vehicle manufacturers and authorized testing centers to review and discuss the new and emerging standards.

He added, “The RTA is also looking closely into the technical staff, technology-aided testing and the anticipated growth of the vehicles when developing the logistical support for the testing of self-driving cars.”