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Transportation of the Future Discussed at World Government Summit in Dubai

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick among speakers

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates-Tuesday, February 14th 2017 [ ME NewsWire ]

The future of transportation, specifically the impending arrival of autonomous cars, was a major topic at the second day of the 5th annual World Government Summit attended by 4,000 global leaders from 139 countries in Dubai.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, said that although driverless cars will be a “great convenience,” it will result in 12%-15% job loss. “We need to find new roles for those people” as increased manufacturing of autonomous cars will be “very disruptive and very quick.”

In an earlier conversation on “The Future of Mobility” with Travis Kalanick, CEO and co-founder of Uber, he predicted roads will be populated with self-driving automobiles, eliminating traffic jams in as few as 5 years. He also said that 1.3 million individuals die annually from car accidents. “There will be no more traffic accidents” with self-driving cars.”

Uber will continue to evolve, Kalanick said. “We will partner with the car industry. We want cars to be available everywhere every time efficient, quick, reliable, affordable, and fully democratized. Push a button and go where you want to go.” (Last month, Uber announced a partnership with Daimler to manufacture autonomous cars.)

His three year vision is ambitious: “Uber is at the beginning of becoming a robotics company,” Kalanick commented. “Once movement in cities becomes autonomous, there will be all sorts of interesting robotics challenges.”

Musk also sounded a cautionary note to governments as technology continues to improve efficiency, saying a “universal basic income” will be necessary as there will be “fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better.”

Prior to the session with Musk, Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority announced that human carrying drones are expected to be introduced into service within the public transport system by July 2017.

Climate change and food security were also key themes of the day. Prime Minister of Bhutan highlighted that “1/3 of our global food supply, worth US$2.6 trillion annually, is routinely wasted.” HRH Princess Haya spoke about international humanitarian crises and a UN report estimates that 50 million will be displaced due to desertification and climate change in the next 10 years.


Wael Hayatli, +971-55-965-5728

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