ROADS

Abu Dhabi 2017 | TRANSPORT | B2B

Safety first is the overriding motto when it comes to Abu Dhabi's roads.

Mohamed Al Qamzi
MOHAMED AL QAMZI
General Manager
TransAD
Khaled Al Mansoori
KHALED AL MANSOORI
CEO
Emirates Driving Company (EDC)

Can you elaborate on the technological features you have added to your services?

Mohamed Al Qamzi We structured several transformations in 2016, with the implementation of Wi-Fi in all of our taxi units the most prominent. It will be a gradual process starting in November 2016 with 50 airport cabs, and we expect to have full coverage by the end of 2017. We also look to the constant upgrading of our taxis and, in 2016, we introduced 270 Mercedes-Benz units suitable for different purposes to the streets of Abu Dhabi, from family cars for five passengers to friendly vehicles for handicapped people with ramps and other features. On the technological side, we have been active in working on a mobile application to serve customers anywhere they are, and we implemented a lost-and-found tool and a complaint-registering system that will eventually substitute our call center.

Khaled Al Mansoori We have started to look at how we can accommodate our customers better through the use of more digitization and other technologies. One of our major plans for 2017 is to shift into e-learning to provide information to a wider audience and make it easier to digest. One successful example we have already implemented in 2016 is the computer test for theory. Cutting costs without affecting the level of service negatively—or even improving the service—is possible through the right use of technology. We also offer a number of post licenses training, such as defensive driving and school bus and ambulance driver training. We offer eco-driving training for employees, as well as a four-by-four cours e for customers who plan to go camping or on desert safaris.

How does the company invest in meeting customer satisfaction standards?

MAQ The drivers are the most important part of TransAD since they are the ambassadors of the brand. The quality of our drivers comes even before the quality of our vehicles, and they are expected to perform well since we do constant training with them. For us, leaving the best impression on the client is the most important signal of success. This is particularly important for the airport cabs since they are the welcoming factor to visitors who come to Abu Dhabi and have their first interaction to the country through them. We recently hired over a 100 European drivers, who will give a more diversified look to TransAD.

KAM We will introduce our e-services in 2017 and can do a great deal of things with e-learning to reach a wider audience of customers using different languages. Currently, we offer courses in five languages at EDC, but would like to increase that number. E-learning will make it much easier to expand the offering rapidly. Regarding our safe driving campaigns, we have a great variety of campaigns running at the moment. We run regular campaigns with the Ministry of Interior regarding all aspects of road safety, for example the dangers of mobile phone use in vehicles. We also increased our presence on social media and disseminated safety information in malls, universities, and schools to help the community.

How will the new features affect your position vis-à-vis other services in the UAE?

MAQ We constantly conduct surveys to measure the ratio of quality and satisfaction in our services. We have a strong focus on security, which is why we installed cameras in 645 of our taxis. This certainly sets us apart from the competition since we rank first in safety, and that is the main concern for customers. We are certified as an ISO39001 provider, and we make sure that we follow the rules determined by the certifying company. Also, we have taxis that work only in specific remote areas, and they cannot take customers outside of that specific area. This ensures that they are always available in the specified area.

How does the legal framework for driving in the UAE support your programs and safety messages?

KAM The UAE has the best infrastructure in terms of roads. The challenge we face in the UAE is diversity of nationalities bringing very different driving cultures to one place. We teach students the local law in our curriculum and educate them about how to have a better, safer mindset for driving and to behave better on the road. This transition to local driving and safety standards is part of what our instructors do. As a result of the implementation of such programs, accident numbers are dropping while the number of vehicles on our roads is increasing by around 10% per year. Ultimately, numbers show that EDC has a positive impact on drivers' education and the general driving culture in the country.