Hamdan Bin Mohammed Goes On First Test Ride Of Cruise Autonomous Electric Vehicle In Jumeirah 1

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Goes On First Test Ride Of Cruise Autonomous Electric Vehicle In Jumeirah 1

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, today went on the first demo ride of the Chevrolet Bolt-based Cruise autonomous vehicle (AV) in Jumeirah 1 area.

This testing and validation of the autonomous vehicle is an important step towards launching a self-driving ride hail service in Dubai. In April 2021 RTA and Cruise, which is majority owned by leading global automotive company General Motors (GM), announced that Dubai will be the first international market for Cruise, underscoring the city’s emergence as a global leader in adopting future technologies.

Upon arrival in Jumeirah 1, His Highness was received by His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, along with Jack Uppal, President and Managing Director of GM Africa Middle East, and Todd Brugger, Vice President of Global Market at Cruise, as well as a team of engineers from both RTA and Cruise.

Project update

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was briefed by His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer on the progress of the autonomous vehicle operation project, which began with a partnership between the RTA and Cruise. The two signed an agreement for the introduction of ride hail services with Cruise AVs in Dubai.

In April 2023, the company started digital mapping preparations for self-driving Cruise vehicles in an area of Jumeirah 1 under the guidance of safety drivers. The process involved using Cruise’s HD mapping technology of the surrounding environment using specially equipped mapping vehicles, fitted with an array of sensors, including lidars and ranging devices, cameras, and more.

As part of ongoing testing and validation, in October, Cruise began limited testing with five AVs accompanied by safety drivers behind the wheel.  After the demo ride in December, attended by His Highness, Cruise will continue to conduct demo rides with safety drivers for key stakeholders in Jumeirah.

At a later date, and following the developmental rides, the RTA will announce a registration process allowing selected members of the public to use the Cruise ride hailing app to experience the futuristic services of the Cruise Autonomous transport technologies.

Ride experience

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, alongside His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer and Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, started on their autonomous journey, with a safety driver, in Jumeirah 1, marking the official start of Dubai’s first self-driving vehicle test ride.

“The testing of Cruise AVs is a crucial step towards enhancing Dubai’s global leadership in implementing self-driving transport. It contributes to Dubai’s Strategy for Smart Self-Driving Transport aimed at converting 25% of all mobility journeys in the emirate to self-driving modes by 2030,” said Al Tayer.

Quantum shift

“The deployment of autonomous vehicles underscores the RTA’s keenness to collaborate with leading global entities to advance AV technologies. Autonomous vehicles will play a pivotal role in offering innovative solutions for transportation challenges, curbing urban congestion, and elevating road safety.

The spread of autonomous vehicles marks a significant technological shift in transport systems. They support the RTA’s efforts to leverage the integration between mass transport systems and easing the mobility of public transport riders.

It facilitates passengers’ journeys to their final destinations and provides services to a large portion of underserved users such as senior residents, and People of Determination,” added Al Tayer.

Operation agreement

In April 2021, the RTA signed an agreement with Cruise to operate Autonomous Vehicles for ride hail services as part of the RTA’s efforts to bolster Dubai’s position as a leader in self-driving transport. It also supports Dubai’s vision to transform itself into the smartest city in the world.

The agreement, the first of its kind between a government entity and a leading firm in self-driving transport, is instrumental in advancing Dubai’s strategy for smart self-driving transport aimed at converting 25% of all transportation journeys in Dubai into autonomous trips across various modes of transport by 2030.