If you were still doubting that autonomous cars would soon arrive in the streets of Paris, London or even New York, you might want to take a look at Dubai. Indeed, where Western legislation is still struggling to foresee the advent of driverless vehicles, Emirati regulations seem to be much more advanced since Dubai aims to launch a fleet of autonomous cabs by… 2023!
The UAE’s flagship city announced on April 12 the signing of a partnership with the American autonomous car manufacturer Cruise for the deployment of 4,000 robot cabs in the city. This subsidiary of General Motors is expected to manage nearly a quarter of the comings and goings in the metropolis with driverless vehicles. The company will also benefit from an exclusive contract that should run until 2030.
An attractive economic opportunity
The vehicle is called the Origin. It is fully electric and can carry up to six people at a time, making it a perfect solution for carpooling. For all that, this contract represents a real boon for the company that presented its baby in 2020 (but now weighs some $30 billion) because it’s a first of its kind between a public entity and an autonomous vehicle manufacturer.
The city currently has about 11,000 cabs in its fleet. A number that should be increased very quickly, and on a regular basis, as Cruise is planning to set up a branch office directly in Dubai. No doubt it has sensed a real economic opportunity, as well as the chance to conquer a still embryonic market.