4 November, 2021

Urban & logistics transport to undergo biggest transformation for 140 years, say experts at Hypermotion Dubai

Highways of hope: fewer roads, less cars, safer highways, underground networks & driverless vehicles on the horizon

Dubai, UAE: Hypermotion Dubai - the industry convex which reimagines the transportation and logistics industries, closed today (4th November) after a three-day debut at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020, with global experts unveiling blueprints for highways of hope which will change the entire way the world travels and moves goods.

Experts addressing the event’s Hypermotion Lab and Smart Mobility conferences said road and urban transport are undergoing the biggest transformation since the invention of the internal combustion engine in the 1880s with policymakers and regulators facing tough choices needed to drive widespread mind-set change.

Anthony Foxx, the former US Transportation Security and Chief Policy Officer of ride sharing app Lyft, said the transport industry had been slow to adopt technological transformation and was now facing a perfect storm of change.

Foxx told delegates that to address public demands for fewer emissions to meet climate change goals, the industry would have to reinvent its approach to sustainable infrastructure maintenance, while partnering with urban planners to ensure the best case use of land and transport connectivity.

“The intensity of urban growth will put pressure on the transport system,” he said. “We have to think much differently about the future than we have in the past. The time is now for new ideas and ideas that can scale. We cannot understate the value of land use in the equation.

“The old way of building infrastructure is going to die out. Planning is an under-utilized resource in the transportation industry. We have to have a game plan.  In a way, we are going to have to go back to the future using our feet in walkable communities to further the future.”


The shape of things to come: Road networks 2071

In the Smart Mobility Conference, experts painted a picture of our roads in 50 years, predicting fewer roads, underground networks, safe, smart highways, less vehicle ownership, and more driverless, shared rides.

Prof. Dr. Sabih Khisaf, VP International, Institution of Civil Engineers, said while he expected road networks to still exist, hyperloop technology would change the way we travel, while Andrew Stevenson, Transport & Built Environment Sector Leader, Middle East, Mott MacDonald, said planners needed to recapture the opportunity of Covid lockdowns, when roads were less crowded and emissions much reduced.

The industry, he said, had to aim for “greener roads”, greater space efficiency, more autonomous vehicle use, and ‘naked’ smart highways where signs and signals are redundant.

Dr. Nahid Sidki, Chief Technology Officer, Research Products Development Company (RPDC) said car ownership would be greatly reduced with mind-sets embracing the ride sharing economy in autonomous vehicles travelling on smart highways resulting in safer journeys.

“There will be fewer roads,” said Dr. Nahid, “and there will be underground roads with NEOM in Saudi Arabia among the few in the world now emphasizing underground networks for transportation and utilities.”

Dr. Georges Aoude, CEO & Co-Founder, Derq said the road network of 2071 would be “electric, connected and autonomous” and said policy makers and regulators could face unpopular choices such as road usage charges.


Asset sharing to become logistics industry norm: aggregation to ease congestion, emissions & road fatalities

Asset sharing within the logistics sector will be the new industry norm as the segment strives to curb emissions and meet sustainability targets, delegates heard at Materials Handling Middle East’s Scalex conference, running alongside Hypermotion Dubai.

Addressing Scalex, which focuses on supply chain and logistics excellence, Avishai Trabelsi, CEO and co-founder of Quicargo, the Amsterdam-based digital freight platform, said regulation of the sector would make asset sharing inevitable to reap sustainability and safety goals.

“There are currently 13 million trucks on the road in Europe and five million businesses shipping goods, yet the trucks travel half empty. Trucking accounts for only 2% of the vehicles on Europe’s roads but for 20% of the mileage covered and 30% of all road fatalities and emissions,” he explained. “Asset sharing can immediately bring about a 20-50% reduction in these impacts so regulation will push the sector forward and deliver better pricing for all parties involved.”

Gaurav Biswas, Founder & CEO of Trukker – the MENA region’s leading digital freight platform – said asset class is an example of technology transforming the industry. “Technology is now at the point where we can capture the data and connect demand with supply,” he commented.

Jamil Shinawi, co-founder and director of AHOY which develops technology empowering next-gen logistics and supply chain solutions, said the impact of asset sharing would be far-reaching. “The potential is huge but there are challenges in the MENA region with a lack of infrastructure and standardization. Asset sharing will also impact the insurance sector with liabilities shifting and the entire system of asset ownership changing.”

Hypermotion Dubai and Materials Handling Middle East were organized by Messe Frankfurt Middle East and held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman & CEO of Emirates Group and Chairman of Dubai Airports. It was the first showing of the industry game-changing event outside of Europe and gathered over 150 global experts speaking at its three sector-leading conferences.

“The conferences laid bare the impending challenges facing these vital sectors and the technology which is enabling change,” explained Simon Mellor, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East.  “Industry delegates were privy to the disruptive technology which can transform industries, super-charge the creation of localized hi-tech economies and better the lives of the people they serve.”

Hypermotion Dubai is a thriving hub of technology game-changers revolutionising four of the Middle East’s key economic sectors – transport, logistics, mobility, and materials handling via its co-located Materials Handling Middle East 2021 trade show. 


  • 2021