Dubai to use sensors mounted on EVs to map roads ahead of self-driving launch in 2023

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Dubai’s RTA will start digitally mapping the city’s roads using advanced sensors, collecting data for Cruise’s self-driving vehicles ahead of its commercial launch in 2023.

The sensors will be mounted on two Chevrolet electric vehicles and initially be deployed in the Jumeirah neighborhood, the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.


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The initiative follows an earlier agreement signed by Dubai authorities to induct the US-based self-driving brand Cruise’s vehicles into the city’s taxi fleet.

The agreement is apparently a first of its kind worldwide between a government entity and a company in the field of autonomous vehicles.

Its launch would make Dubai the first city outside the US to commercially operate a self-driving vehicle, WAM reported.

“Cruise’s technology uses a high-resolution map of the physical environment, which is created using specialized mapping vehicles equipped with a suite of sensors including LiDAR, camera, and others, and are driven throughout the city to collect data, which is then used to create and maintain a navigable map for autonomous vehicles (AVs),” WAM reported.

Cruise is in major parts owned by General Motors.

“We have plans to increase the number of deployed vehicles gradually to reach up to 4000 vehicles by 2030, and enhancing Dubai’s pioneering role in self-driving transport,” Mattar al-Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Dubai’s RTA was quoted as saying by WAM.

He added that Dubai aimed to transform 25 percent of all journeys in the city to use various self-driving transportation by 2030.

Another aspect of converting road traffic to self-driving-based falls on accidents caused by human error, according to al-Tayer. According to the RTA head, human error is responsible for more than 90 percent of accidents.

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