This is the future of Dubai…

Hailing a driverless taxi in Dubai will soon be a reality. Last year, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) revealed that self-driving taxis will be trialled in the city, with an aim for an official launch targeting 2023.

And now, the RTA has just announced that ten self-driving taxis will be available for public use in Jumeirah by the end of 2023. Their fares will be comparable with limo taxis which are often around 30 per cent higher than normal taxis. These state-of-the-art taxis will be able to accommodate three passengers in the back, with no passengers in the front.

Pick-up and drop-up will be limited to this area, with the 10 self-driving taxis only operating between Etihad Museum and Dubai Water Canal. Riders will be able to visit La Mer Beach, Mercato Mall, Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Box Park, or any of the restaurants and cafes along the Al Wasl or Jumeirah roads.

In preparation for their launch later this year, five self-driving taxis have begun to digitally map the Jumeirah 1 area in order to test the technology, collect data on traffic light signals and monitor other drivers’ behaviours.

Everything you need to know…

The strategy was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed’s vision is to convert 25 per cent of transportation trips in Dubai to driverless trips by 2030. The launch is in keeping with Dubai’s future plans and in line with the city’s autonomous driving strategy.

An agreement was signed with Cruise Company – an American-owned business, to provide the vehicles. It makes Dubai the first city outside of the United States of America where Cruise commercially operates these vehicles.

Operations according to an Instagram post shared by RTA states that operations will start at the end of 2023 with the aim of reaching 4,000 taxis by 2030.

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State-of-the-art stuff

driverless taxi dubai

The vehicles will be equipped with 80 sensors, cameras and LiDAR systems – light detection and ranging (laser scanning technology) to monitor road conditions, and controls to avoid collision with any objects – even those the human eye cannot see.

In a statement issued last year HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA stated, ‘Human errors are responsible for more than 90 per cent of accidents. Autonomous vehicles are environmentally-friendly electric vehicles and can serve considerable numbers of customers, particularly senior citizens, residents and people of determination.’

We can’t wait to see these driverless cars in action!

Images: RTA