Automotive and transport leaders from across the world gathered in Dubai for the 5th International Conference on Future Mobility (ICFM) as HE Abdulla Abdulqader Al Maeeni, Director General, Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) outlined plans to integrate new technology into the emirate’s infrastructure.

HE Al Maeeni said ESMA – which organises the conference in collaboration with Messe Frankfurt Middle East – aims to be a platform for government agencies and leading companies in the fields of smart and sustainable mobility.

“We recognize that technological advances based on the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are the key to the development in this field,” said HE Al Maeeni. “The future of the automotive and transport sector will be radically different from the past, where many trends, including the decentralisation of energy production, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence will bring about radical changes in the transport system and mobility, as well as the foundations and objectives of electric mobility, the future of transport in smart cities, and facing the challenges of internet security in connected and self-navigating transportation.”

Through keynote presentations and panel discussions, experts from international specialists and regulators delivered their expertise on the future of travel and autonomous vehicles during the opening day of the conference which will run at the Grand Hyatt from 26-27 November.

Echoing HE Al Maeeni’s session on the future of mobility, Nicolas Fleury, Deputy Secretary General, International Organisation for Standardization (ISO), pinpointed challenges and opportunities presented by AI, technology and automation and the role regulations will play in supporting growth.

“Mobility in its many forms is at the heart of our society, more, the freedom of movements is a fundamental human right,” said Fleury. “Mobility also drives economic development through the circulation of goods around the world. Mobility impacts every moment of our lives, transforms our lives and shapes the world around us. As we look at the challenges and opportunities from new technologies to growing organisation and climate change, we should bear in mind that cooperation, collaboration and consensus provide much greater results than the sum of its parts.

“Without global collaboration we won’t be able to respond to major challenges such as the impact of climate change and this is why international standards like mobility can change the world. I strongly believe that standards must play an essential role in supporting those technologies and ways of working.”

Amongst the opening remarks was the announcement of the first ever semi-autonomous heavy vehicle journey between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Completed by Mercedes-Benz’s new Actros truck, the 140km trip demonstrated the future of goods transportation and what can be achieved with current technology.

Following the opening remarks from HE Al Maeeni was joined by VIP delegates for a tour of the ICFM exhibition space which hosted an eclectic display of electronic vehicles (EVs), including some of the region’s top manufactures such as MG, BMW, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Chevrolet, and Jaguar Land Rover.

The former unveiled their fully electric ZS EV to a crowd of delegates. The launch of the new model was a first for the region and was exhibited alongside MG’s Marvel X model.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi displayed their regional premiere of their e-Evolution concept car as well as their Outlander PHEV, an all-electric 4WD top of the range five-seater SUV, whilst BMW exhibited their i3S 120Ah Advance and i8 Roadster, their luxury range of EV.