Dubai is set to be the first non-US city to operate the Cruise Origin vehicle

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, visited the display of the Origin autonomous vehicle model manufactured by Cruise Inc, USA, on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2022, taking place at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an agreement with Cruise Inc. as part of its plans to provide driverless taxi and e-booking services.

HRH Mattar Al Tayer, CEO and Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority’s Board of Executive Directors, and Jeff Bleich, Chief Legal Officer of Cruise, briefed His Highness on the Origin autonomous vehicle, manufactured by Cruise Inc, USA, in collaboration with General Motors and Honda. The vehicle is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and sophisticated sensors and systems to ensure the safety of cyclists. Dubai is the first city outside the US to showcase the vehicle.

“Dubai will be the global launch platform for Cruise’s Origin autonomous vehicle. The RTA and Cruise are currently testing and working on digital maps for these vehicles by the end of this year. A trial run of BOLT vehicles will take place in October this year, paving the way for the actual launch of Origin’s limited autonomous vehicle service in 2023. The plan is to gradually increase the number of cars to 4,000 by 2030. Dubai will be the first city outside the US to operate Origin vehicles,” explained Al Tayer.

He said: “The operation of self-driving taxis promotes the integration of mobility and transport systems, making it easier for public transport passengers to travel to their final destinations.

“It also supports the RTA’s efforts to integrate public mass transit, as well as the operation of a short ride service (first and last mile) that helps passengers get to their final destinations. The operation of self-driving cars marks a quantum leap in public transport systems, provides innovative transport solutions, reduces urban congestion and improves road safety,” concluded Al Tayer.

Designed to provide shared transport, Cruise’s Origin can operate entirely without human intervention. It has no steering wheel or control system like conventional vehicles and uses over 80 high-tech sensors including cameras, LiDAR systems and radars to create a 360-degree view. It uses high-definition 3D maps to locate the vehicle at all times and pinpoint its position in relation to other road users to within a centimetre.

When passengers enter the car through the sliding doors and fasten their seatbelts, they must press the Start/Stop button in the cabin. At any time before reaching their destination, they can ask the car to abort their journey by pressing the Start/Stop button. The vehicle will assess the nearest suitable parking space to end the journey smoothly and safely. To ensure a high level of safety, the fleet of autonomous vehicles is monitored around the clock and communication with passengers will be ensured in the event of an emergency or technical failure.

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