Abu Dhabi’s inaugural DRIFTx, an international platform and exhibition for smart, autonomous, and sustainable urban mobility applications across air, land, and sea, has announced a lineup of local and international speakers and exhibitors. Set to be held from 25-26 April 2024 at Yas Marina Circuit, the event will feature discussions, a display of flying taxis, driverless cars, and autonomous boats.

DRIFTx will gather more than 80 international mobility experts and innovators across DRIFTx Talks sessions, igniting discussions on the latest trends and breakthroughs in transportation and sustainable mobility. Dedicated stages for air, land, and sea mobility will host panels, fireside chats, and lightning talks exploring topics including AI and human synergy, public perception and acceptance of urban air mobility, autonomous and advanced marine navigational systems, and forging sustainable lanes with electric and autonomous vehicles.

The speaker lineup includes His Excellency Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of The Department of Municipalities and Transport, His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, His Excellency Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of Space42, His Excellency Abdulla Al Marzouqi, Director General of Integrated Transport Centre, Badr Al Olama, Director General of Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Hasan Al Hosani, Managing Director of Bayanat, JoeBen Bevirt, CEO of Joby Aviation, Adam Goldstein, CEO of Archer Aviation, Tian Yu, Founder and CEO of AutofFlight, Minsang Yu, Chief Strategy Officer of Autonomous A2Z, and Dr Paul Newman, CTO and President of OXA.

Nayef Shahin, Director of Innovation and Knowledge at at Abu Dhabi Investment Office, said: "Abu Dhabi is a city of firsts, and the upcoming inaugural DRIFTx event is a testament to the emirate’s ongoing efforts in convening world leaders to tackle global opportunities and challenges. By fostering collaboration across academics, innovators, regulators, and startups, the event provides a unique platform that creates tangible partnerships and accelerates future mobility solutions. This also mirrors what we are doing at the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster in Abu Dhabi, propelling the UAE Capital’s status as a global hub for smart and autonomous vehicle and mobility solutions."

DRIFTx’s speaker lineup also includes George Zakhem, Director of Business Development and Partnerships of Emirates Driving Company, Shannon Miller, SVP of Jacobs, Billy Thalheimer, CEO of Regent Craft, Ali Dalloul, VP of Azure AI Platform of Microsoft, Francois Dossa, Executive Director of Strategy and Sustainability of Jaguar Land Rover, Chuck Martin, Futurist, New York Times Best Selling Author and Head of Net Future Institute.

The event will also feature insights from officials from the UAE organisations including Abdulla Alashram, Group CEO of 7X, Nicolas Petrovic, CEO of Etihad Rail Mobility, Nayef Shahin, Director of Innovation and Knowledge at Abu Dhabi Investment Office, and Dr Noura Al Dhaheri, CEO of Digital Cluster and CEO of Maqta Gateway at AD Ports Group.  

DRIFTx will feature 75 global exhibitors, including Archer Aviation, Joby Aviation, Multi Level Group, Regent, Faraday Future, May Mobility, Space Falcon, and WeRide, which will be showcasingmobility innovations, live demonstrations, VR simulations and more.

Adam Goldstein, CEO of Archer Aviation, said: "Since we announced our preliminary deal with ADIO at the SAVI event last fall, we have been working closely with our government and industry stakeholders in Abu Dhabi and across the emirates as we prepare to launch commercial air taxi service in the UAE as soon as next year. We're proud to take part in DRIFTx as a symbol of Abu Dhabi's world-leading commitment to fostering sustainable mobility innovation"

DRIFTx welcomes visitors to interact with innovations from mobility innovators. Attendees can test-drive the latest autonomous vehicles, such as the Fly Now eVOLT Model, equipped with VR glasses for simulated flying over Abu Dhabi. Additionally, remote control demonstrations by A2Z and Exail will allow participants to operate vehicles in distant locations, like cars in Korea and ships at sea in France.

Across the two days, attendees will be able to experience live demonstrations by industry trailblazers including V Speeder by Vspace, one-passenger eVOLT, Airwolf by UDX, an electric motorcycle with helicopter propulsion, MS MiniBus by A2Z, an autonomous EV, Seaglider by Regent, a hybrid aircraft, Big Drone by DCL, an aerobatic drone for human flight, Ocean Drone 30 by Ocean Drone, a smart marine AV, Electric FF 91 Alliance by Faraday Future, a luxury electric car, Coverage.GO by Flare Dynamics, a environment-agnostic micro-drone, and UHV Manta by Marine Tech, a marine drone.

The DRIFTx Showcase will also host an electric vehicle exhibition, presenting models from top global manufacturers. Furthermore, DRIFTx will also host the DCL24 Split 1 Finale, real-life drone racing event, in addition to the DCL big drone show, representing the apex of drone racing in a display of unparalleled skill, precision, and technological prowess. Over 64 global teams will compete, where only the top six winners will vie for the winning title in the finale.

DRIFTx is set to gather 2,000 attendees from the global mobility ecosystem, including multi-national organisations, governments, investors, academia, regulatory bodies and startups. Offering a collaborative platform for shaping the future of urban mobility, attendees will have access to the exclusive DRIFTx meeting platform to connect with enthusiasts, industry peers, leading mobility experts, and innovators. DRIFTx will also feature a number of dedicated zones, focused on key ecosystem groups such as innovation and R&D players, youth and over 20 startups.

Namir Hourani, Managing Director of GMOLx, said: "As we fast approach Abu Dhabi’s inaugural and one-of-a-kind DRIFTx event, we are proud to be associated with such a stellar speaker lineup and unique exhibition showcase and demos. We have been working closely with our partners, DMT, ADIO, SAVI, and Bayanat to curate a truly unique experience for industry leaders, innovators, startups, government bodies, regulators, and enthusiasts, thereby driving the adoption of smart and autonomous vehicles and the future of urban mobility forward in the region and beyond."

In collaboration with the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Abu Dhabi’s Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster, Bayanat, and key local and international strategic partners, including 7X, Abu Dhabi Chamber, Abu Dhabi Ports Group, Multi-level Group, Joby Aviation, Archer Aviation, and Emirates Driving Company, DRIFTx emerges as the premier gathering for global thought leaders and innovators to explore, showcase, and demonstrate the latest in smart, autonomous, and sustainable mobility solutions from across the world.