RTA and Cruise sign deal to operate self-driving taxis and ride-hailing vehicles
April 13, 2021

The agreement was witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

A new agreement was signed today between RTA and Cruise that will see Cruise operating self-driving taxis and ride-hailing services in Dubai. The agreement was witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai. Dubai is also the first city outside the US where Cruise will commercially operate these vehicles.

It is expected that the deployment of self-driving vehicles will improve road safety levels since it was mentioned that over 90 percent of accidents are due to human errors. Additionally, all-electric vehicles offer sustainability thanks to their environmentally-friendly design as well as serving a wide range of clients from various communities.

The agreement also supports Dubai’s 2030 vision for self-driving technology that aims to reduce transportation costs by 900 million AED as well as saving 1.5 billion AED a year by reducing pollution by 12 percent. By increasing the efficiency of public transport, Dubai also aims to generate 18 billion AED in annual economic returns.

His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, signed the agreement on behalf of RTA while Former US Ambassador and Cruise’s Chief Legal Officer Jeff Bleich signed on behalf of Cruise. Also present during the signing is His Excellency Abdulla Al Basti, the Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai, His Excellency Philip Frayne, Consul General of the United States in Dubai, and Ahmed Bahrozyan, Chief Executive Officer of The Public Transport Agency at RTA.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum expressed his praise for the newly-signed agreement, citing that it will raise the global profile of Dubai. “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 realizing Dubai’s Self-Driving Transport Strategy aimed at converting 25% of total trips in Dubai into self-driving transport trips across different modes of transport by 2030,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan.

The agreement will see Cruise build its own self-driving cars on standard production lines, and will also make Cruise the exclusive provider of self-driving taxis and ride-hailing services until 2029. The first purpose-built, all-electric, self-driving vehicle Cruis Origin will make its launch in Dubai, the first non-US city to do so.

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. When he’s not busy playing with the latest games, Victor usually spends his time collecting Blu-rays and building his own movie library. As the Online Editor for T3 Middle East, he develops and writes content for www.T3ME.com which includes reviews, features, and videos in addition to managing its social media and web content.
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