RTA and Cruise are working together to introduce the first autonomous taxi ride in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has completed the initial phase of creating digital maps of Jumeriah streets, positioning Dubai as the first city outside the US to commercially deploy self-driving technology company Cruise’s autonomous vehicles. RTA and Cruise are working together to introduce the first autonomous taxi ride, with plans to roll out 4,000 vehicles by 2030.

This was revealed by the authority today as it released its eighth annual Sustainability Report for 2022, according to which RTA has made considerable progress in elevating Dubai’s global standing across a variety of fields, notably sustainability. Last year, RTA launched its new strategic plan 2023- 2030, aligning with the UAE government’s vision, “We are the Emirates 2031”. The plan is also aligned with the Dubai Urban Plan 2040, which encompasses key chapters aimed at shaping Dubai into an integrated model of a sustainable city.

Smart, driverless journeys

In this context, RTA highlighted the collaborative effort it has made to devise innovative solutions for future transportation networks, part of its commitment to mapping out the future of autonomous mobility and supporting Dubai’s strategy for smart and self-driving transport aimed to transform 25 per cent of mobility journeys in Dubai into smart and driverless journeys by 2030.

RTA has also endorsed a plan to transform taxis in Dubai (Dubai Taxi and franchise companies’ taxis) into 100 per cent eco-friendly (hybrid, electric and hydrogen-powered) by 2027. This move is consistent with RTA’s roadmap to have zero emissions of public transport in Dubai by 2050, and the Dubai Government’s strategic directions towards comprehensive environmental sustainability.

43 green initiatives

RTA has rolled out 43 initiatives focused on energy and green economy, leading to a savings of 86 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 50 million litres of fuel, besides a reduction of 201,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent last year.

From a community standpoint and sustainability framework, RTA implemented 47 initiatives in 2020 benefiting around 53 million individuals, including people of determination, labourers, disadvantaged families, orphans, university students within RTA, the local community and friendly countries. CSR initiatives also attracted 409 male and female volunteers who contributed 3,817 volunteer hours, which resulted in financial savings worth approximately Dh1 million.

From an economic point of view, RTA partnered with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to offer world-class services that bolster Dubai’s role in regulating and supporting digital companies in private and commercial transport. The initiative specifically caters to corporate clients and institutions based in the DIFC Free Zone, enabling them to serve their customers through digital and smart platforms.