Dubai issues law regulating autonomous vehicles
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Dubai issues law regulating autonomous vehicles

Dubai issues law regulating autonomous vehicles

The city aims to deploy 4,000 autonomous vehicles by 2030 and the rollout is expected to alleviate traffic congestion and cut harmful emissions

Dubai and Cruise Chevy Bolt

Dubai is moving closer to deploying autonomous vehicles after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued a new law that regulates the use of self-driving cars in the city.

The new law is expected to accelerate the city’s smart mobility ambitions, attract investments and provide a regulatory environment that facilitates the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the mobility transport or industry.

It outlines how the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will regulate the use of driverless vehicles in Dubai, including the issuing of licences and transfer of ownership. Under the law, RTA is tasked with demarcating the roads, areas and routes that self-driving cars operate in, setting their speed limits and providing the framework for managing other aspects of their operations.

The authority is mandated with the development of the infrastructure necessary for the operation of self-driving cars as well as the traffic solutions necessary to ensure road safety and avoid traffic disruptions, among others.

Dubai’s transit authority is also tasked with issuing licences for autonomous vehicles. The law outlines conditions for obtaining a license for activities related to self-driving cars and breaching the provisions of the law attracts fines ranging between Dhs500 and Dhs20,000.

The penalties can be doubled in case of repeat breaches in the same year and the maximum fine is Dhs50,000.

The law is part of a broader strategy to transform the city into a model for cities of the future and the best city in the world to live, work and visit.

Read: RTA approves strategic plan for 2023-2030

Dubai’s self-driving future

Meanwhile, the RTA and General Motors’ Cruise said a fleet of five electric cars had mapped out the roads in parts of Dubai. The five Chevrolet Bolt electric cars that were deployed in the Jumeirah 1 district tested the vehicles’ technology and gather data on traffic signals, signage and driver behaviour.

Dubai self-driving vehicleCruise’s technology uses a high-resolution map of the physical environment, which is created using vehicles equipped with sensors including radars and cameras that capture data and images within a 360-degree field of vision.

“The launch of autonomous vehicles will positively impact Dubai’s transportation landscape and well-being. It will facilitate the integration between transportation and communication systems by streamlining the mobility of mass transit users and their arrival to their final destinations,” said Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency at the RTA.

RTA and Cruise have joined forces in 2021 to run the maiden autonomous taxi service in Dubai with plans to begin deploying its robotaxis in the city this year – making the Middle East tourism and business hub the first non-US city to commercialise Cruise self-driving cars.

Dubai plans to deploy 4,000 self-driving taxis by 2030 and Cruise will be the exclusive robotaxi service provider in the city until 2029. The rollout of autonomous vehicles will alleviate traffic congestion, reduce the number of road traffic accidents and cut harmful emissions.

Read: Driverless taxis: Testing begins in Jumeirah 1, shares RTA

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