• | 12:00 pm

Dubai Crown Prince test rides self-driving taxi for the first time

With this, Cruise will continue to conduct demo rides with safety drivers for key stakeholders in Jumeirah.

Dubai Crown Prince test rides self-driving taxi for the first time
[Source photo: Dubai Media Office/X | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, took the first demo test-ride of the Chevrolet Bolt-based Cruise autonomous vehicle (AV) in Jumeirah.

The Dubai Crown Prince was welcomed by Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, and Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police. Also present were Jack Uppal, President and Managing Director of GM Africa Middle East, Todd Brugger, Vice President of Global Market at Cruise, and a team of engineers from both RTA and Cruise.

“The testing of Cruise AVs is a crucial step towards enhancing Dubai’s global leadership in implementing self-driving transport. It contributes to Dubai’s Strategy for Smart Self-Driving Transport aimed at converting 25% of all mobility journeys in the emirate to self-driving modes by 2030,” said Al Tayer.

“Autonomous vehicles will play a pivotal role in offering innovative solutions for transportation challenges, curbing urban congestion, and elevating road safety. They [AVs] support the RTA’s efforts to leverage the integration between mass transport systems and easing the mobility of public transport riders. It facilitates passengers’ journeys to their final destinations and provides services to many underserved users such as senior residents and People of Determination,” added Al Tayer.

This development follows the partnership between the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Cruise announced in April 2021, designating Dubai as Cruise’s inaugural international market. It aligns with the Emirates’ ambitions to introduce a self-driving ride-hail service. The collaboration signifies a significant step forward in Dubai’s smart self-driving transport strategy, aiming to transition 25% of all transportation journeys in the city into autonomous trips by 2030.

Moreover, in April this year, the digital mapping process for self-driving Cruise vehicles commenced in Jumeirah 1. This involved utilizing the company’s HD mapping technology, incorporating numerous sensors to map the surrounding environment.

Cruise initiated limited testing in October, deploying five autonomous vehicles (AVs) accompanied by safety drivers as part of the testing phase. The RTA plans to introduce a registration process, enabling selected public members to use the Cruise ride-hailing app.

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