Dubai is preparing to roll out its first fleet of “self-driving” taxis in 2023. By 2030, 25 percent of Dubai’s transportation will be autonomous, according to Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who unveiled the plan in May. The Department of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) of the Dubai Municipality revealed in early June that it has begun developing high-resolution digital maps for autonomous cars.
The Dubai government is focusing on self-driving vehicles as it targets more driverless journeys.
In June, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) launched its 3rd Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport 2023. It featured a first-of-its-kind event in the field of self-driving transport, with submissions to focus on self-driving buses.
The inclusion of self-driving buses highlights the RTA’s commitment to supporting the efforts of the Dubai Government in expanding the use of autonomous technologies across the board. $2 million has been allocated to leading companies, and $300,000 have been set aside for local academic institutes.
In February, Dubai announced it will begin trials for driverless taxis and e-hailing services this year, making it one of the first cities outside the US to operate such vehicles, according to an official statement.
Through its partnership with General Motors-backed Cruise, the RTA is set to deploy a limited number of Cruise autonomous vehicles in 2023, with plans to gradually scale up operations to reach 4,000 self-driving taxis by 2030.
Dubai intends to make 56 percent of its taxi fleet environmentally friendly by 2023 and also aims to convert 5 percent of the cars to autonomous vehicles by the same year.