The vision of making Qatar a ‘smart country’ is now coming to life through Tasmu Smart Qatar, a flagship program by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), which merges digital innovation and advanced technology to serve residents and visitors in Qatar as set forward by the country’s National Vision 2030.
“We’re working with government and private sector partners to promote cooperation between large multinational, SMEs, and emerging companies. Our vision, which is one of co-creation and collaboration aims to make Qatar a digital industry hub in the world, attracting local and international players”, Reem Mohamed Al Mansoori, Assistant Undersecretary of Digital Society Development at MoTC has said.
She was addressing the first Qatar-Korea Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Roadshow 2019 which was organized by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) in Doha.
Tasmu is Qatar’s national digital transformation program seeking to revolutionize the way transportation, logistics, healthcare, environment, and sports projects are implemented. This will include autonomous driving, digital workplace, drone product delivery services, virtual health consultations, smart buildings, and augmented game experience projects among many others a reality in Qatar.
Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event, Korea Expressway Corporation’s (KEC) Director of Overseas Project Team Jae-Uoong Kim, said the company is in the middle of serious discussions with Qatari officials on a possible partnership related to the Tasmu Smart Qatar project. “We’re just waiting, and are ready to provide our support whether through operation management or capacity building program of a government to government partnership,” he said.
KEC is a semi-governmental company responsible for the planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of expressways in South Korea and a network of expressways internationally. With a $30m budget, the company plans to commercialize fully automated driving in South Korea by 2030 and complete the construction of its smart highway by 2022.
Speaking during the event, Sung Seup Kang, Director of ITS & Road Safety Division at the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, who called Doha as the ‘high-tech city of the future’, expressed his hope for Qatar and Korea to establish a solid ITS partnership. He went on to share how the successful hosting of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018 had become possible with mass transportation infrastructure built through ITS.
South Korea’s Ambassador to Qatar Chang-mo Kim, who reiterated the strong bilateral cooperation between the two countries, added that Korea’s experience of rapid industrialization and know-how of eco-friendly transportation system can help Qatar find solutions to make the 2022 FIFA World Cup a success and achieve the country’s National Vision.
During the forum, Qatari officials showcased the various ITS opportunities in the country. Presentations were made on the MoTC’s ‘Smart Qatar Platform’ and ‘Qatar Digital Valley’, as well as the Public Works Authority’s (Ashgal) ITS program.
Meanwhile, the Korean ITS delegation, which consisted of large multinational corporations and SMEs, expressed their interest to share their latest technologies and expertise through partnerships with their Qatari counterparts during the event.
Hyundai Motors also expressed its interest to participate in Qatar’s smart country project. A representative from the company presented Hyundai’s Smart City Mobility project and highlighted the company’s recent shift from focusing on car sales to focusing on mobility services.
LG CNS also highlighted its fare collection system, a transportation card system used in South Korea, which consolidates all public transit fare payments into a single card. The system is now also being used in Colombia, New Zealand, and Malaysia.
Other companies which also showcased their technologies include the Korea Telecom, Dot Incorporation, Novacos, RexGen, SignTelecom, S-Traffic, and Thinkware.
KOTRA Doha Director General Rakgon Kim said that KOTRA, which functions as the commercial section of the Korean Embassy in Qatar, serves as the gateway between Qatar and South Korea. He said the center supports Qatari industries which are looking for suppliers and business partners from Korea.