Dubai aims to have 25 per cent of its transportation achieved fully autonomous operation by 2030…

We’re well on our way to a futuristic city, and this latest approval by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai solidifies the notion.

Announced via the Dubai Ruler’s official Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted that the UAE has approved ‘the first national license for self-driving cars on the country’s roads.’

The licence was granted to a specialized company called WeRide.

WeRide is a leading Level 4 autonomous driving technology company which, according to its bio is ‘bringing smart cities with new products, new business model and new experience.’ Level 4 is considered a ‘fully autonomous driving’ where the driver can request control of the car but the car will be able to handle the majority of driving independently.

weride txai driverless car / self-driving cars

Sheikh Mohammed said WeRide ‘will begin testing all types of autonomous vehicles in the country, reflecting a change in the country’s future mobility patterns.’ Over the Eid Al Adha holidays, visitors at Saadiyat Island and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi were able to experience the free autonomous driving car services called TXAI – a collaboration between WeRide and Bayanat.

What’s On had the opportunity to take a spin in one of these self-driving cars back in March 2023. You can see the video below and read our ‘review’ here.

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Continuing the tweet, Sheikh Mohammed said, ‘The world is changing rapidly… leadership patterns are changing, and life in the country will change rapidly in the coming years…’. He added that ‘the comfort and quality of life will remain a permanent constant in our governmental agenda.’

During the same meeting, Sheikh Mohammed also approved the national policy for electric vehicles including the national network of electric vehicle chargers, and regulations pertaining to the electric vehicle market. The meeting highlighted important issues including reduced emissions, energy consumption, and the preservation of the quality of roads in the UAE.

Earlier this 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. 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. Read more here.

Images: Sheikh Mohammed Twitter, WeRide/TXAI and What’s On