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Dubai to start trials of autonomous cabs by year-end

Dubai has announced plans to begin trials of driverless taxis and e-Hail services by the end of 2022. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the start of trials and preparations of digital maps needed for Cruise autonomous vehicles by the end of this year, in preparation for the 2023 actual service launch.

The RTA has signed a partnership agreement with the Cruise Company, a majority-owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary of General Motors. Dubai would be the first city to operate Cruise autonomous vehicles outside the US. A limited number of Cruise autonomous vehicles will be deployed in 2023, with plans to increase the number of deployed vehicles to reach 4,000 by 2030, stated RTA in a press release.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA announced the start of trials and preparations of digital maps needed for deploying these vehicles by the end of this year. The partnership agreement was signed as per directives issued by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council. Al Tayer met with a delegation from the Cruise Company headed by Anthony Gregory, vice-president of market development, Cruise, US, where the latest developments relating to operating Cruise autonomous vehicles in providing taxi and e-Hail services were discussed.

Discussions also covered the supply of vehicles, operations, the latest developments of operating autonomous vehicles in San Francisco state, and the production of Cruise Origin autonomous vehicles. “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,” said Al Tayer.

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