Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, visited the display of a model of the Origin autonomous vehicle manufactured by Cruise Inc, USA on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2022 held at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an agreement with Cruise Inc. as part of its plans to provide driverless taxis and e-booking services.
Sheikh Hamdan was briefed by Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, and Jeff Bleich, Cruise’s Chief Legal Officer, about Origin’s autonomous vehicle manufactured by Cruise Inc, USA, in collaboration with General Motors and Honda.
The vehicle is fitted with cutting-edge technologies and sophisticated sensors and systems to ensure the safety of riders. Dubai is the first city outside the US to display the vehicle.
“Dubai will be the global platform for the launch of Cruise’s Origin autonomous vehicle. RTA and Cruise are currently conducting trials and working on digital maps for these vehicles until the end of this year.
“In October this year, there will be a trial run for BOLT vehicles, which will pave the way for the actual launch of the autonomous vehicle service with a limited number of Origin vehicles in 2023.
“The plan is to gradually increase the number of vehicles to reach 4,000 by 2030. Dubai will be the first city outside the US to operate Origin vehicles,” explained Al Tayer.
He said, “Operating self-driving taxis contributes to achieving the integration of mobility and transportation systems by facilitating the movement of public transport riders to their final destinations.”
Al Tayer added, “This initiative further strengthens Dubai’s pioneering role in self-driving transport and is a significant milestone in achieving Dubai’s Strategy for Self-Driving Transport which aims to convert 25% of the total mobility journeys in Dubai into self-driving journeys on various means of transportation by 2030.”
“It also supports RTA’s efforts to integrate public mass transport means, and operate a short trip service (first and last-mile) that helps riders reach their final destinations. The operation of self-driving vehicles marks a quantum leap in public transportation systems, provides innovative transport solutions, reduces city congestion, and improves road safety levels,” concluded Al Tayer.
Designed to provide shared transport, Cruise’s Origin can operate fully without human intervention.
It doesn’t have a steering wheel or a control system like ordinary vehicles and uses more than 80 highly advanced sensors that include cameras, LiDAR systems, and radar to create a 360-degree view.
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It uses high-definition 3D maps to locate the vehicle at all times and pinpoint its exact location with respect to other road users with a precision of up to one centimetre.
When riders board the vehicle through the sliding doors and fasten their seat belts, they have to press the Start/Stop button in the passenger compartment. They can ask the vehicle to terminate the trip at any time, before reaching their destination, by pressing the Start/Stop button.
The vehicle will assess the nearest suitable parking space to end the journey smoothly and safely. To ensure high safety levels, the fleet of autonomous vehicles is monitored round the clock, and there will be communication with passengers in the event of any emergency or technical failure.