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

Driverless taxis: Testing begins in Jumeirah 1, shares RTA

In February last year, RTA and Cruise joined forces to run the maiden autonomous taxi service in the city

Neesha Salian
self-driving taxi cruise av

Driverless taxis could become a regular fixture on Dubai’s roads in the near future.

The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Cruise, a self-driving technology company, have commenced data collection and testing of its technology for Dubai’s traffic signals, signage, and drivers’ behaviour using five Chevy Bolt-based autonomous vehicles in the Jumeirah 1 area.

This initiative marks a fundamental step toward the launch of self-driving ridehail services in Dubai.

In February last year, RTA and Cruise joined forces to run the maiden autonomous taxi service in the city.

Read: Dubai to begin trials of driverless taxis this year

This step is part of RTA’s strategy aimed at bolstering Dubai’s global leadership in self-driving transport and fostering the emirate’s aspirations of becoming the world’s smartest city.

Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency, at RTA stated: “Data collection and Testing is a crucial phase in Dubai’s quest for excellence in smart mobility and advanced technology. The work being done will ensure Cruise’s advanced generalisable AI and autonomous driving systems safely adapt to Dubai traffic conditions.”

“This stage of data collection and testing for Dubai’s traffic environment will utilise five Chevy Bolt-based autonomous vehicles that will be deployed in the Jumeirah 1 area.

The aim is to obtain the best readings and data through onboard lidars, radars and cameras that capture data and images within a 360-degree field of vision,” he added.

Driverless vehicles RTA-and-Cruise-Start-Data-CollectionOn March 9, Cruise held a workshop on the next stages leading to the pilot phase of operating ‘driverless taxis’ in Dubai.

A technical team from Cruise took part in the workshop which was held at RTA’s headquarters in Dubai.

The agenda of the workshop was set by Cruise and RTA to review the specifications of the Chevy Bolt-based autonomous vehicle along with an overview of the data collection stage, operating model, monitoring of local operations and incident response.

The technical team from Cruise and RTA pooled their efforts, and shared knowledge and experiences, thereby promoting cooperation and ensuring optimal deliverables of the data collection stage along with the continued development of the autonomous taxi service.

Read: Dubai Crown Prince issues new regulation for testing self-driving vehicles

Driverless taxis to enhance transportation landscape

“The launch of autonomous vehicles will bring a positive impact on Dubai’s transportation landscape and wellbeing. 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 Bahrozyan.

By 2030, RTA seeks to deploy 4,000 driverless vehicles, making Dubai the first non-US city to commercialise Cruise self-driving cars.

The rollout of autonomous vehicles will alleviate traffic congestion, lower the number of traffic accidents, and cut harmful emissions.

This collaboration between RTA and Cruise demonstrates a shared dedication to developing innovative and sustainable urban mobility solutions. It underscores the shared goal of coaxing a sweeping migration toward self-driving technology and promotes smart mobility.

The expansion of autonomous vehicles will further boost Dubai’s standing as a global hub for innovative technology of smart mobility.

In other news, Saudi Arabia recently launched the trial phase of ‘Dhahaina’ (Smart), a new autonomous vehicle (AV), in Riyadh.

The launch event for the country’s first self-driving electric vehicle was intended to boost awareness and adoption of AV technology.

Read: Saudi Arabia launches trial for first autonomous electric vehicle

With this trial, the ministry also aims to reduce the number of transport-related accidents and fatalities, improve intracity mobility, and reduce the impact of the transportation sector on the environment.

The launch is seen as one of the initial steps toward the development of AV legislation, regulations and related systems in Saudi Arabia.

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