Case Study of an Innovative Company: Roads & Transport
Description of the Company
Roads and Transport Authority is a leading publicly traded government entity in the transport sector, operating within the emirates of Dubai. By being a government entity, RTA is tasked with ensuring that Dubai, as a main city, has high-quality transport infrastructure facilities. It initiates the government’s agenda of enhancing the public transport system and facilities by improving roads across the Emirates to make travel safer and smoother. Therefore, RTA does not deal in specific products but rather service to the country’s transport sector (Gokulan 2015).
RTA was established in 2005 through the decree number 17. Specifically, RTA is responsible for providing and planning all the national transport and traffic requirements. The company is responsible for controlling buses, taxis, road engineering, inter-city transportation, marine transport, rail projects, road beautification, as well as registration and licensing.
The entity operates in the Emirates of Dubai road markets. Its primary purpose is to promote the development of roads and transport system in this market. It does not have competitors in this market because of its nature of work. Just like other traditional large entities all over the world, RTA uses a functional horizontal management structure. In this case, managers depend on employees in a single department and higher levels of management to run the company. It is illustrated in the figure below.
Innovation Policies and Strategies of RTA
Over the last few years since its inception, Roads and Transport Authority has produced many innovative products, which affirm its innovative ability to this market segment. In essence, the entity promotes open knowledge and innovation in its workplace. This has helped it nurture an environment that is conducive to innovation and creativity, thereby inculcating the culture of innovative thinking amongst its employees. Amongst the many innovative products RTA is currently working on is the Drive Less Car. RTA will launch this innovative product during Expo 2020 (Faham 2015).
The entity announced that it has commenced the commissioning of a study that will enhance the use of driverless cars in Dubai. This is the entity’s part of utilizing the latest technologies in the field of mobility solutions. This technology will be considered in the Expo 2020. As said by the RTA’s chairperson of the board, this initiative is adopted from the directives of the president of United Arabs Emirates to endorse 2015 as an innovative year for Dubai. It is also part of a comprehensive national strategy to rank Dubai in the top position in the field of innovation (UAE Today 2015).
To make this dream come true, RTA has established a team studying the use of smart vehicles. In particular, they are tasked to determine how smartphone technology can be vehicles to promote driverless cars. Smart driverless cars will be the latest technological development in the global mobility industry. In this technology, electronic vehicles are fitted with smart sensors that substantially enhance their safety elements thus enabling them to avoid crashes. Smart vehicles are developed with multi-operational techniques that allow them to operate within a moving environment without requiring a control such as a driver. For example, the car will include the ability to cease automatically motion, perceive road condition, pedestrian movement, and traffic signals among others (Emirates 24/7 News 2015). The diagram below shows the essential features of a driverless car.
The driverless vehicle will be operated using an automated system control based on the internet. The control center will fully control the vehicle without requiring a driver. The vehicle can be programmed to lift passengers, feed public transport stations, as well as link vital centers. The advantage of this vehicle is that it will subsequently eliminate the need for private vehicles, ease the huge demand for parking spaces, mitigate road congestion, as well as eliminate environmental pollution. Another advantage is that it will help reduce traffic collisions or accidents caused by errors of a human driver. Lastly, it will undoubtedly increase the roadway capacity (AME Info 2015).
This will be an innovative product of Roads and Transport Authority. Through this technology, RTA will display its innovativeness. It is innovative because it will be a new product in the market. In essence, driverless cars will be a new product developed using new technologies thereby meeting the benchmark of innovation. The entity has shown support for innovation by establishing a team of experts to study the design and requirements of driverless cars. Furthermore, the company is managing and commercializing its innovation by considering the Expo 2021 the year for its display (RTA 2015).
RTA Innovation Lab
Dubai’s RTA has an innovation lab that is used for research. The innovation lab is used for researching into technologies and materials such as dust resistant glass, heat resistant asphalt, and rail vibration sensors among others. Over the past few years, RTA has been creating innovative smart phone applications for use in the transport industry. The newly launched website and mart apps is developed to offer 30 RTA services to drivers as well as customers. The smart apps are free for download from Blackberry, Android, iOS, or Windows phones. Currently RTA has launched a total of 53 smart phone apps.
This government entity has done will by setting Expo 2021 deadline for its driverless cars. It is apparently evident that they are looking for new products and innovations in the global mobility system that could substantially contribute to driverless car economy in the long term. Through their steadfast efforts, Roads and Transport Authority is indeed making the driverless come in the future. It is using their knowledge and ability to introduce unique, innovative, and user-friendly smart driverless cars in the market. It is focusing on providing smart driverless cars that meet customer needs. Following the RTA’s guidelines, these cars will be unique and unlike others in the market.
Although driverless cars have so many advantages, it is important if RTA considers all the possible policy implications fully before its implementation. These policy implications should be addressed, and the solution included in the design. Driverless cars will potentially become disruptive innovation if this technology becomes commercially available. For instance, its widespread global adoption is still unclear. Besides, policy makers might face some unresolved questions concerning the effects of driverless cars if they are used on a broad scale.
One fundamental question that Roads and Transport Authority must consider while continuing with this innovation is their effects on the travel behaviors. For instance, their use might encourage urban sprawl ultimately leading to total private vehicle use in urban centers. On the other hand, their use might discourage or reduce outright vehicle ownership become people can easily share cars.
In addition, the entity must consider how the innovative driverless car will go about certain ethical problems arising in situations such as the car’s software being forced to choose between multiple harmful courses especially during a crash. Lastly, it is recommended if Roads and Transport Authority works on the susceptibility of the car’s navigation system especially during different types of weather conditions.
AME Info, 2015. RTA runs ‘Knowledge and innovation Week’ to promote innovative culture amongst employees. [online] Available at: http://ameinfo.com/finance-and-economy/economy/retail/rta-runs-knowledge-innovation-week-promote-innovative-culture-amongst-employees/ [Accessed 7 July 2015].
Emirates 24/7 News, 2015. Driver-less cars put on road to Dubai launch: RTA commissions study of using smart driver-less vehicles. [online] Available at: http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/driver-less-cars-put-on-road-to-dubai-launch-2015-02-14-1.580715 [Accessed 7 July 2015].
Faham T., 2015. Al Tayer unveils RTA’s plans for implementing National Innovation Strategy. [online] Available at: https://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395276880846.html [Accessed 7 July 2015].
Gokulan Dhanusha, 2015. RTA living ‘Smart City’ dream with new apps. [online] Available at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/transport/2014/September/transport_September16.xml§ion=transport [Accessed 7 July 2015].
RTA, 2015. Roads and Transport Authority. [online] Available at: https://www.rta.ae/wps/portal/rta/home/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gfd9cAfwM3M0N_PydnA0_TEFNjR0NPAyAAykeaxRvgAI4GBHSHg-wD6TcN9gmz8LZwMXA2CvMzNDIxhpoAk8dpvp9Hfm6qfnBqnn5BboRBlomjIgB2VoXJ/dl3/d3/L0lHSkovd0RNQU5rQUVnQSEhL1lCZncvYXI!/?SwitchToLatestLocale=true [Accessed 12 July 2011].
UAE Today, 2015. RTA Reviews Benchmarks With JAFZA. [online] Available at: http://www.uaetoday.com/news_details.asp?newsid=43386 [Accessed 7 July 2015].
How Driverless Car Works
Working Features of Driverless Cars
Future Features of Driverless Cars
Consumer Demand for Driverless Cars