Cruise has expanded its RoboTaxi ambitions beyond San Francisco. The autonomous vehicle subsidiary of General Motors that also has backing from SoftBank Vision Fund, Microsoft, and Honda, has struck a deal to launch a RoboTaxi service in Dubai in 2023.
The RoboTaxi service in Dubai will use the Cruise Origin, the all-electric shuttle-like vehicle that has no steering wheel or pedals and is designed to travel at highway speeds. The Origin, which was unveiled in January 2020 will be manufactured by General Motors.
Cruise will establish a new local Dubai-based company which will be responsible for the deployment, operation and maintenance of the fleet.
The service will start with a limited number of vehicles with plans to scale up to 4,000 vehicles by 2030 as part of Dubai’s self-driving transport strategy, according to Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, the director-general and chairman of the board of the RTA. The Robotaxis — and eventually the service — will be introduced gradually and limited to specific areas before expanding to other parts of the city.
Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said the agreement with Cruise is a “major step towards realizing 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.”