Dubai will launch its first batch of robotaxi early next month as part of a strategy to reduce traffic and accidents.
According to Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of Dubai‘s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), five completely autonomous electric taxis, run by a General Motors subsidiary called Cruise, will start testing on an 8km (5 mile) stretch in the wealthy Jumeirah neighborhood of the United Arab Emirates city.
According to Bahrozyan, Dubai aspires to be the first city in the Middle East to offer autonomous taxis. Several cities throughout the world, mostly in the US and China, now use autonomous taxis.
Commercial robotaxi service is provided by Cruise in US places like San Francisco, but according to Bahrozyan, the cars will make their international debut in Dubai.
In Dubai, we are running our own set of research studies. According to Bahrozyan, every city has its own individual characteristics. Certainly, the weather here is different from that in the US.
In addition to the 12,000 traditional taxis already operating in the city, RTA wants to introduce 4,000 autonomous taxis by 2030. The cost of rides is anticipate to be slightly higher than that of a regular taxi but in the same ballpark as a private vehicle like an Uber.
Cruise has a 15-year contract with the RTA, and after that time, other companies might be able to enter the taxi business. According to Bahroyzyan, driverless vehicles will eventually make up the majority of the taxi fleet in the Middle East tourism center.
After a string of collisions a year after GM’s Cruise robotaxis were introduced in the state of California, the corporation was compelled to reduce its fleet there by half.The incidents illustrated the difficulties that driverless cars might encounter.
There will be, according to Bahroyzyan, “zero compromise on safety.”
In April, Dubai published a legislation governing autonomous vehicles that established standards for their technical, functional, and safety features. Autonomous vehicle sales and purchases were similarly govern.
In 2022, a Chinese startup called WeRide began testing robotaxis in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.