Dubai to begin trials of driverless taxis this year
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Dubai to begin trials of driverless taxis this year

Dubai to begin trials of driverless taxis this year

The RTA plans to gradually increase the number of autonomous vehicles to 4,000 by 2030


By way of a partnership struck between the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the US-based company Cruise, Dubai will begin trials on Cruise autonomous vehicles offering taxi and e-hailing services this year.

Dubai will, therefore, become the first city outside of the US to operate such vehicles. In 2023, a limited number of Cruise autonomous vehicles will be deployed with a plan to increase them to 4,000 by 2030.

The announcement was made following a meeting between Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA and a delegation headed by Anthony Gregory, vice president of Market Development at Cruise, US. Cruise is a General Motors-majority owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

The two sides discussed the supply of vehicles, operations, developments from operating autonomous autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, and the production of Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle, as well as Dubai being the global platform for launching the operation of this vehicle, according to news agency WAM.

At the meeting, the RTA also coordinated the participation of officials from Dubai Police General HQ, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology.

“Dubai will be the first global platform for launching Cruise Origin Cars. It is a vehicle dedicated to shared driverless transport,” said Al Tayer.

“This initiative enhances Dubai’s pioneering role in self-driving transport. It is an important step towards realising Dubai Smart Self-Driving Transport Strategy aimed to transform 25 per cent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into journeys on various self-driving transport modes by 2030.”

The Cruise delegation meanwhile visited some areas in Dubai to study locations for launching the service based on technical standards, infrastructure and anticipated demand. At the meeting, the delegation signed the service operational framework and detailed provisions agreed to with the RTA.

Dubai expects the benefits of self-driving technologies to be valued at more than Dhs22bn per year. As part of its 2030 vision, it is aiming to reduce transportation costs by Dhs900m annually and save Dhs1.5bn a year by reducing environmental pollution by 12 per cent using this self-driving technology.

It also expects to generate annual economic returns of Dhs18bn in the process by improving the efficiency of the emirate’s transportation sector.

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