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Sheikh Hamdan Unveils Launch of Driverless Taxis in Dubai

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the impending public launch of self-driving taxis in Dubai.

In a groundbreaking move, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, announced the imminent launch of self-driving taxis for public use in Dubai. 

The revelation came as Sheikh Hamdan showcased a video demonstrating the functionality of an autonomous taxi, signaling the upcoming integration of driverless transportation within the city.

Trial Phase and Future Operations:

The trial phase, initiated in Jumeirah 1 in October, has seen successful test runs of autonomous taxis by Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors (GM). 

While the trial presently excludes human passengers, select individuals will have access to these self-driving taxis by year-end, leading to full commercial operations projected to commence in the second half of 2024.

Advancements and Technical Capabilities:

Equipped with advanced sensors such as LiDAR, cameras, and radars, the Chevrolet Bolt vehicles, chosen for their emission-free electric features, have successfully navigated Dubai’s Jumeirah area. 

The comprehensive digital mapping of this region enables these vehicles to maneuver efficiently, showcasing adaptability to various road features like speed bumps, school zones, and pedestrian crossings.

Transforming Dubai’s Transportation Landscape:

The deployment of these driverless taxis aligns with the city’s ambitious Smart Self-Driving Transport Strategy, aiming to revolutionize a significant portion of Dubai’s mobility into smart and driverless journeys by 2030. 

This initiative seeks to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce accidents, and minimize harmful emissions for a more sustainable transportation ecosystem.

Initial Operations and Expansion Plans:

Initially operating within Jumeirah, these autonomous taxis will serve a limited area for pick-up and drop-off. Plans include:

  • Expanding the fleet across Dubai.
  • Envisioning a gradual deployment of 4,000 driverless cabs by 2030.
  • Promising transformative changes in the city’s transportation landscape.

Passenger Experience and Fare:

Capable of accommodating up to three passengers, these driverless taxis will follow comparable fare structures to limo taxis, estimated to be around 30% higher than standard cab fares in Dubai. 

The strategic selection of Jumeirah for initial operations emphasizes its historical significance and tourist attractions, setting the stage for an innovative leap in urban transportation.

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