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RTA has recently signed a partnership agreement with General Motors-backed Cruise to run driverless taxis and shared transport service in Dubai, rendering it the first city outside the USA to operate such vehicles. Image Credit:

Dubai: Five per cent of Dubai Taxi fleet will be converted to self-driving cabs by 2023, Roads and Transport Authority announced on Saturday.

The move comes as part of Dubai Taxi Corporation’s (DTC) Strategic Plan 2021-2023 endorsed by Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

“We are determined to deliver a unique experience in the taxi industry worldwide to facilitate the movement of citizens, residents and tourists, “ said Al Tayer.

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The plan updates the vision of the corporation which became “Pioneers in Safe and Sustainable Digital Transport Services.

Diverse options

“We aim to provide mobility services featuring diverse options in terms of the level of comfort and care in modern taxis, be it limo service, airport taxi, ladies taxi and family taxi. Our efforts are focused on meeting customers needs through sustained improvement, stylish services, and diverse service channels, especially smart platforms,” added Al Tayer.

Al Tayer reiterated RTA’s commitment to overhaul the Dubai taxi sector by employing artificial intelligence and smart systems to enhance the performance and customers happiness.

The process requires increasing the fleet of taxis and limos to match the rapid growth seen by the Emirate and step up the integration of transportation means. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to ease the mobility of mass transit riders to their final destinations, especially Expo 2020 visitors.

- Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority

51 Initiatives

“DTC’s Strategic Plan encompasses six corporate values: Corporate Reputation, Excellence & Innovation, Happiness & Positive Energy, Leadership & Teamwork, Sustainability, and Pioneering & Competitiveness. It has five strategic objectives namely: Digital Transport, Future Shaping, Financial Sustainability, People Happiness, and Operational Excellence.

The plan includes 51 initiatives spanning several key aspects highlighted by: increasing DTC’s market share in the taxi sector from 41.5% to 44% by 2023, increasing the market share of limousines operated by e-hail apps from 8.5% to 12% by 2023, and increasing the percentage of taxi trips through the same apps from 14% to 16% by 2023.

“The plan also aims to convert 5% of the taxi fleet to autonomous vehicles by 2023 and increase the percentage of environmentally-friendly vehicles to 56%. In the Financial Sustainability aspect, the plan seeks to make saving in expenses and increase the operational and non-operational revenues,” explained Al Tayer.

People Happiness

The plan gives much attention to people happiness and seeks to improve the work environment for employees and drivers and deliver quality services to customers. It sets a target of pushing customers’ satisfaction rating of taxi service to 90%, school bus service to 93%, drivers happiness index to 84%, and employees’ happiness index to 89% by 2023.

As for operations, the plan provides for improving operations management systems and safety specifications. DTC is seeking to raise the ratio of revenue mileage from 49% to 53% by 2023, maintain the operational efficiency of taxis and limousines in the range of 90%, and reduce the rate of carbon dioxide emissions.

Driverless taxis

RTA has recently signed a partnership agreement with General Motors-backed Cruise to run driverless taxis and shared transport service in Dubai, rendering it the first city outside the USA to operate such vehicles.

According to the agreement, RTA is completing all preparations for the launch of self-driving taxis in 2023 with a limited number of vehicles. The number of vehicles in operations will be scaled up gradually to reach 4000 self-driving taxis by 2030.