Dubai’s roads and transport authority will be showcasing the city’s first fleet of self-driving electric taxis at GITEX 2022, which opens tomorrow at Dubai’s World Trade Center.
There, the Dubai Taxi Corporation also plans to display vehicles fitted with screens on which riders can watch the news or play games.
The Cruise origin vehicle, which includes cameras and sensors, is part of a commercial fleet of self-driving cars in San Francisco that are built on the Chevrolet Bolt platform. Having mapped out the streets of the Jumeirah neighborhood, the self-driving Cruise vehicles are due to be launched as a taxi service early next year.
The partnership with Cruise is the first of its kind outside the U.S., and was announced by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, on Twitter last year.
“Dubai will be the first outside America to operate self-driving Cruise vehicles, in fulfilment of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision that Dubai is always in first place and the best city to live and work,” Sheikh Hamdan said in April 2021.
He added: “Our goal is to convert 25 per cent of the total … trips in Dubai to self-driving trips through various means of transport by 2030.”
In addition to enhancing quality of life, Dubai aims to use electric, self-driving cars to reduce emissions, traffic congestion, and overall accident rates in the city.
Mattar Al Tayer, RTA’s director general, said this was an example of how the transport authority would successfully incorporate artificial intelligence and emerging technology to boost productivity.
“This [mapping] is in preparation for the launch of the actual service by 2023, rendering Dubai the first city in the world to commercially operate Cruise self-driving vehicles outside the US Cruise’s next-generation self-driving vehicle. The Origin will be deployed in limited numbers next year to offer taxi and e-hail services,” he said.
According to official reports, 10 autonomous vehicles will be deployed in late 2023 in the first phase. Al Tayer added: “We have plans to increase the number of deployed vehicles gradually to reach 4,000 by 2030.”
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