Dubai hopes to have a fleet of driverless taxis by 2023 as a way to embrace the future of autonomous driving.
The fleet will consist of 10 taxis which will be supplied by US firm Cruise, with the aim of getting them on the road within the next year.
But before they take to the streets, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will complete rigorous testing to ensure the taxis are prepared for the city’s “unique driving style”.
“They will not require other drivers to change their habits at all, or for us to invest in any new infrastructure,” the RTA said.
“A lot of testing will be done and a testing programme on the roads will begin with Cruise later this year.
“The technology must match the unique driving style of each city.”
How will the driverless taxis work?
These driverless taxis will work by using cameras and sensors to navigate around the busy city.
Each taxi will be fitted with about 100 sensors to detect every little detail in its surroundings.
One vehicle will be able to seat six people as well as carrying luggage, making it the perfect airport shuttle.
By 2030, Dubai plans to have about 4,000 of these driverless taxis in operation – which may sound scary at first but could offer many benefits and increased speed to move about the city.
“This is a big opportunity to reduce accidents and make mobility more affordable as the savings made from not having drivers can be passed on to customers,” Ahmed Bahrozyan, chief executive of the Public Transport Agency at the RTA, said.
“They will increase road safety, as 90 per cent of accidents are caused by human error with people falling asleep at the wheel or on their phones.”
Bahrozyan hopes Dubai will change its regulations to allow more manufacturers to begin selling autonomous vehicles in the city within the next decade.