His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, witnessed the signing of an agreement between the RTA and Cruise, a leading US-based autonomous vehicle company, as part of which Cruise will operate self-driving taxis and ride-hailing services in the emirate. The agreement will make Dubai the first non-US city in the world where Cruise will commercially operate these vehicles.
The deployment of these self-driving vehicles is expected to significantly improve road safety levels as over 90% of accidents are due to human errors. The all-electric vehicles are environmentally-friendly and capable of serving a wide range of clients from different community segments, including seniors and people of determination. This agreement will support Dubai’s 2030 vision for self-driving technology, as part of which the emirate seeks to reduce transportation costs by AED900 million a year and save AED1.5 billion a year by reducing environmental pollution by 12 per cent, as well as generate AED18 billion in annual economic returns by increasing the efficiency of the transportation sector in Dubai.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum praised the agreement between the RTA and Cruise noting that it will raise the global profile of Dubai in self-driving transport and support efforts to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. “This agreement, which is the first of its kind worldwide between a government entity and a leading developer of autonomous vehicles, and autonomous vehicle technology, is a major step towards realising Dubai’s Self-Driving Transport Strategy aimed at converting 25% of total trips in Dubai into self-driving transport trips across different modes of transport by 2030,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan.
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer expressed his happiness at the agreement with Cruise that was concluded after conducting extensive due diligence. Cruise’s partnership with auto manufacturing giants gives them the ability to build their self-driving cars on standard production lines, which will ensure the highest performance and safety standards. Among other factors, this has enabled Cruise to be the exclusive provider of self-driving taxis and ride-hailing services till 2029. Dubai will be the first non-US city where the Cruise Origin, the first purpose-built all-electric, self-driving vehicle, will be launched. Under the agreement, Cruise will establish a new local Dubai-based company which will be fully responsible for the deployment, operation and maintenance of the fleet.
Let’s see if Dubai gets self-driving taxis before the expected date – who knows it might show up on your Careem sooner than you think.