The autonomous vehicle company, Cruise, which is backed by General Motors and Honda, will release their first robotaxi services in Dubai in 2023.
Cruise will use their first autonomous Origin vehicles, unveiled in 2019. The Origin is designed to be a shared vehicle – once it gets into production, it won’t have any human driving control, such as a steering wheel or pedals. Their goal is to scale up to at least 4 000 vehicles in Dubai by the end of the decade.
Cruise still intends to have San Francisco as their first market for commercial robotaxi services. The company hasn’t announced a release date yet because it failed to launch the commercial services in 2019, as planned.
The Cruise Origin will go into production at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant starting in 2022. The COVID-19 Pandemic had a negative impact on shared ride-hailing services, so Cruise recently unveiled a new set of safety protocols to keep people socially distanced during trips. The vehicle is sanitized between fares.
Cruise is among the best capitalized autonomous vehicle companies in the world. They raised over 7.4 billion dollars from several investors like SoftBank, Honda, GM, T. Rowe Price Group and Microsoft for the period of three years. Cruise is currently valued at $19 billion.
The UAE has the goal of using autonomous vehicles for 20% of the trips by 2030. Dubai has also invited a number of urban air mobility companies, like Volocopter, to test their electric aircraft.