Fully-automated self-driving taxis will ply the streets of Dubai next month following the successful digital mapping of Jumeirah 1 area, a senior official from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) confirmed on Tuesday.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the 3rd Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport, Khaled Al Awadhi, RTA director of Transportation Systems, Public Transport Agency at RTA, said a total of five driverless taxis will be deployed along the 8km stretch of Jumeirah Road between Etihad Museum and Dubai Water Canal.

The autonomous taxi – operated by US-based self-driving technology company Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors (GM), will take no human passengers yet during the trial phase. But select individuals will be able to take Cruise taxis by end of this year, before its full commercial operations by second half of 2024.

The complete operation of driverless taxi and e-hail services by 2023 amkes Dubai the first city in the world to commercially operate Cruise self-driving vehicles outside the US.

Al Awadhi noted RTA has yet to determine the fare for the self-driving taxis but he hinted it will be comparable to limo taxis, which are usually 30 per cent higher than regular cabs in Dubai.

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