Cruise Looks to Expand into Dubai in 2023
April 12, 2021
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown
Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, witnessed the signing of
an agreement between the RTA and Cruise as part of which 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.
The deployment of these self-driving vehicles is expected to significantly
improve road safety levels as over 90% 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 AED900 million a year and save AED1.5 billion a year by
reducing environmental pollution by 12 per cent, as well as generate AED18
billion in annual economic returns by increasing the efficiency of the
transportation sector in Dubai.
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. Former
US Ambassador, and Cruise’s Chief Legal Officer Jeff Bleich signed on behalf of
Cruise. The agreement was signed in the presence of 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 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% of
total trips in Dubai into self-driving transport trips across different modes of
transport by 2030,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan.
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer expressed his happiness at the agreement with
Cruise that was concluded after conducting extensive due diligence. Cruise’s
partnership with auto manufacturing giants gives them the ability to build their
self-driving cars on standard production lines, which will ensure the highest
performance and safety standards. Among other factors, this has enabled Cruise
to be the exclusive provider of self-driving taxis and ride-hailing services
till 2029. Dubai will be the first non-US city where the Cruise Origin, the
first purpose-built all-electric, self-driving vehicle, will be launched. Under
the agreement, Cruise will establish a new local Dubai-based company which will
be fully responsible for the deployment, operation and maintenance of the fleet.
“The selection of Cruise was not taken lightly. We engaged in a comprehensive,
multi-year process to choose the best possible partner. Cruise’s technology,
resources, purpose-built vehicle, automaker partnerships, approach to safe
testing and deployment and strategy give them the ability to launch safely and
faster than any other company. 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,” revealed Al Tayer. “RTA will facilitate the governance of the
service provided by the company and support the introduction of the appropriate
legislative environment, policies and regulations required for operating this
technology,” noted Al Tayer.
vehicles will bring a fundamental shift in transportation and offer innovative
solutions for mobility and congestion in the city. The introduction and
operation of the vehicles will be gradual and begin in specific areas, scaling
as the community experiences their safety and benefits first-hand. The vehicle
will be fitted with state-of-the-art sensors to monitor road conditions, and
controls to avoid collision with any objects - even with those the human eye
cannot see,” he further added.
“The operation of self-driving taxis will also enhance the integration between
transit means, which will ease the mobility of public transport riders and
simplify the process of being transported to their final destinations (first and
last-mile),” concluded Al Tayer.
Dan Ammann, CEO of Cruise, expressed how thankful he was for the privilege of
Cruise having been chosen by the RTA and for their work to develop an innovative
framework for self-driving deployment.
“The Cruise Origin will make transportation safer, a better experience, more
affordable and better for the planet,” Ammann said. “Dubai and the RTA are
leading the way in making this a reality for their people, and for people