A model of the driverless vehicle.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, witnessed the signing of an agreement between the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) and Cruise, a leading US-based autonomous vehicle company.
As part of the agreement Cruise will operate self-driving taxis and ride-hailing services in the emirate. The agreement will make Dubai the first non-US city in the world where Cruise will commercially operate these vehicles.
Preparations for the launch of the self-driving service will start shortly. The operation of Cruise self-driving vehicles will start with a limited number of vehicles in 2023, with plans to scale up to 4,000 vehicles by 2030.
Sheikh Hamdan praised the agreement between the RTA and Cruise noting that it will raise the global profile of Dubai in self-driving transport and support efforts to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world.
"This agreement, which is the first of its kind worldwide between a government entity and a leading developer of autonomous vehicles, and autonomous vehicle technology, is a major step towards realising Dubai’s Self-Driving Transport Strategy aimed at converting 25 per cent of total trips in Dubai into self-driving transport trips across different modes of transport by 2030," said Sheikh Hamdan.
Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, signed the agreement on behalf of RTA. Cruise’s Chief Legal Officer Jeff Bleich signed on behalf of Cruise.
The deployment of these self-driving vehicles is expected to significantly improve road safety levels as over 90 per cent of accidents are due to human errors.
The all-electric vehicles are environmentally-friendly and capable of serving a wide range of clients from different community segments, including seniors and people of determination.
This agreement will support Dubai’s 2030 vision for self-driving technology, as part of which the emirate seeks to reduce transportation costs by Dhs900 million a year and save Dhs1.5 billion a year by reducing environmental pollution by 12 per cent.
It will also generate Dhs18 billion in annual economic returns by increasing the efficiency of the transportation sector in Dubai.
The Resolution aims to ensure the highest level of safety for autonomous vehicles and achieve the objectives of Dubai's Autonomous Transportation Strategy.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has approved the Council’s Resolution No. (4) of 2019 related to the regulation of sanctions, grievances and complaints for Dubai Government employees.
Sheikh Hamdan took to Twitter and said, “As promised in September 2019,the results of Dubai Gov't Customer & Employee Happiness Index are released every year on January 18. This year's results are promising, despite global COVID-19 challenges. Average customer happiness reached 84% & average employee happiness reached 89%.”
The health expert said, “We ask citizens and residents wishing to travel to learn about the requirements and procedures of the visiting countries and adhere to them, to avoid any penalties for violations in these countries.”
The UAE has announced that its PCR tests can detect the new COVID-19 variant Omicron. The authorities made the statement during the weekly media briefing on latest development on COVID-19 in the country.
The Indian Air Force said on Twitter, “An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.”