Dubai’s RTA launches road testing of autonomous taxi vehicles

Posted: 6 April 2023 | | No comments yet

As part of its new partnership, Dubai’s RTA aims to launch autonomous taxi services in the city, seeking to reduce traffic congestion, accidents and harmful emissions by deploying 4,000 self-driving vehicles by 2030.

RTA takes major step towards deploying autonomous taxi services

Credit: Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in partnership with self-driving technology company, Cruise, has announced that they have initiated data collection and testing of its technology for Dubai’s traffic signals, signage and drivers’ behaviour, among other attributes using five Chevy Bolt-based autonomous vehicles in Jumeirah 1 area. This initiative marks a fundamental step toward the launch of self-driving ride-hailing services in the city.

“Data collection and testing is a crucial phase in Dubai’s quest for excellence in smart mobility and advanced technology. The work being done will ensure Cruise’s advanced generalisable AI and autonomous driving systems safely adapt to Dubai traffic conditions,” said Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency at RTA. “The aim is to obtain the best readings and data through on-board lidars, radars and cameras that capture data and images within a 360-degree field of vision,” he added.

According to Bahrozyan, the launch of autonomous vehicles will bring a positive impact on Dubai’s transportation landscape and wellbeing, as it will facilitate the integration between transportation and communication systems by streamlining the mobility of mass transit users and their arrival to their final destinations.

Dubai’s RTA to transform taxis to 100% green vehicles by 2027

RTA has partnered with the technology company to run the first autonomous taxi service in the city. By 2030, RTA seeks to deploy 4,000 autonomous vehicles, making Dubai the first non-U.S. city to commercialise self-driving cars. The roll-out of autonomous vehicles will alleviate traffic congestion, lower the number of traffic accidents and cut harmful emissions.

The expansion of autonomous vehicles will further boost Dubai’s standing as a global hub for innovative technology for smart mobility and aligns with RTA’s commitment to enhance the wellbeing and safety of its citizens, residents and visitors.

On 9 March 2023, a workshop had been held on the next stages of the project, which then led to the launch of the pilot phase of operating the autonomous service in Dubai.