Dubai shows off driverless taxis ahead of 2023 launch at Gitex 2022

Vehicles are still at testing stage but on track to hit the roads next December

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Dubai's first driverless taxis were on display at the city's annual flagship technology event on Monday, ahead of a planned launch next year.

The Roads and Transport Authority-branded vehicles were shown off to visitors at the Gitex Global event at the World Trade Centre.

Mattar Al Tayer, the authority's director general, said the Cruise Origin vehicles would be “deployed in limited numbers next year”, with plans to expand their numbers over time.

They will co-exist with other transport at controlled speeds, so will be safer.
Khaled Alawadhi, RTA

Abu Dhabi conducted trials of driverless taxis, which could be booked using the TXAI app, at nine locations on Yas Island last year.

Khaled Alawadhi, director of the transport systems at the Dubai authority, said the mapping of the emirate's streets was already well under way ahead of the vehicles' introduction in 2023.

“High-definition mapping will be used by the vehicles to navigate around Dubai, and we have already completed this in Jumeirah One,” he said.

“We have a plan to expand to more areas and validate those maps. These cars have been running for a couple of years already in San Francisco and we will begin testing them, alongside other vehicles in Dubai, by the end of this year.

“The trial will go through until Q3 [the third quarter] of next year and then we will prepare to roll them out in Dubai in December 2023.

“The main benefit is safety, as we know globally 90 per cent of accidents are caused by driver error.

“These cars will run on advanced technology that will make them more predictable and calculated.

“They will co-exist with other transport at controlled speeds, so will be safer.”

Updated: October 11, 2022, 4:07 AM