As Dubai gears up to deploy autonomous vehicles, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued a new law to regulate the use of self-driving cars in the emirate.
With the new law, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will regulate the use of self-driving cars in Dubai, including issuing licenses and transferring ownership. Car operators will also be responsible for covering all damages caused by accidents.
The RTA is tasked with developing plans and policies to improve the operation of self-driving cars in Dubai and set technical, operational, and safety benchmarks. It is also responsible for demarcating the roads, areas, and routes in which self-driving cars operate, including setting speed limits.
A license will be issued once a vehicle can pass the RTA’s technical test, including the technological capability to read road signs. Lawbreakers can face fines between $136 and $5,446, which could be doubled for repeat breaches in the same year. The maximum fine is $13,615.
Last year, RTA partnered with General Motors’ Cruise, a leading autonomous vehicle company, to run Dubai’s first autonomous taxi service. So far, five Chevrolet Bolt electric cars have been deployed in the Jumeirah 1 district to test the vehicles’ technology and gather data insights.
Dubai plans to deploy 4,000 self-driving taxis by 2030, with Cruise as the exclusive robotaxi service provider in the city until 2029. The deployment of autonomous vehicles aims to ease traffic congestion and road traffic accidents and cut harmful emissions.
Meanwhile, Dubai is also introducing new laws for operating drone airports in the emirate. Under the new law, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority will be responsible for guaranteeing that drone airports comply with international standards and for fuel and power supply development for flying cars and taxis.
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