In a significant move towards a futuristic city, Dubai has set its sights on achieving 25% fully autonomous transportation by 2030. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has given his approval for the first national license for self-driving cars on the country’s roads. The announcement was made through Sheikh Mohammed’s official Twitter account, solidifying Dubai’s commitment to embracing autonomous technology.
The national license has been granted to WeRide, a leading Level 4 autonomous driving technology company. WeRide specializes in bringing smart cities to life through innovative products, business models, and experiences. Level 4 autonomy refers to “fully autonomous driving,” where the car is capable of handling the majority of driving tasks independently, while still allowing the driver to request control if needed.
Sheikh Mohammed stated that WeRide will commence testing all types of autonomous vehicles in the country, signaling a significant shift in future mobility patterns. To showcase the capabilities of autonomous driving, WeRide collaborated with Bayanat to offer free autonomous driving car services called TXAI during the recent Eid Al Adha holidays at Saadiyat Island and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The initiative allowed visitors to experience the future of transportation firsthand.
Dubai has been actively exploring autonomous transportation options, with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) planning to trial self-driving taxis in the city. The goal is to launch official operations by 2023, with a vision of reaching 4,000 autonomous taxis by 2030, as revealed in an Instagram post by the RTA. These efforts align with Dubai’s ambition to create a cutting-edge transportation system that enhances efficiency and sustainability.
During the same meeting, Sheikh Mohammed also approved the national policy for electric vehicles, which includes the establishment of a national network of electric vehicle chargers and regulations pertaining to the electric vehicle market. This comprehensive approach emphasizes the UAE’s commitment to reducing emissions, conserving energy, and preserving the quality of roads.
Commenting on the developments, Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the rapid changes occurring globally and the need for leadership patterns to adapt accordingly. He emphasized that the comfort and quality of life for UAE residents will remain a permanent focus on the government’s agenda.
Dubai’s vision for a future where autonomous vehicles play a prominent role in transportation underscores the city’s determination to be at the forefront of technological advancements. With the introduction of the first national license for self-driving cars and the upcoming trials of autonomous taxis, Dubai is taking concrete steps towards realizing its ambitions and paving the way for a transformative era of mobility.