Cruise, the self-driving car startup backed by GM and Honda, will debut the first foreign robotaxi service in Dubai.
The company expects to begin testing its fully autonomous Origin vehicles in the United Arab Emirates in 2023, with the aim of launching a commercial ride-hailing service soon after, but no specific date has been set.
Dubai’s crown prince, Hamdan bin Mohammed, made the announcement.
Cruise will use its fully autonomous Origin cars, which were introduced in 2019, as part of the ride-hailing operation.
The company has no plans to use its Chevy Bolt EV, which is actually part of its San Francisco test fleet.
The Origin is meant to be a shared car, so it won’t have any controls that are usually associated with human driving, such as a steering wheel or pedals, when it goes into production.
The goal, according to Cruise, is to increase the number of vehicles in Dubai to at least 4,000 by 2030.
Cruise is also planning to launch its commercial robotaxi service in San Francisco.
The company had intended to begin a commercial service in its hometown in 2019, but it did not happen, and no new date has been set.
Beginning in 2022, the Cruise Origin will be manufactured at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck factory.
Dubai could be an ideal location for Cruise’s self-driving cars.
By 2030, Emirates wants 20 percent of its trips to be made in self-driving cars.
A number of urban air mobility firms, including Volocopter, have also been invited to test their electric aircraft in Dubai.
SoftBank, Honda, GM, T. Rowe Price Group, and Microsoft have all contributed to the company’s $9.25 billion in funding over the last three years.
Cruise has a market valuation of $30 billion.
Video Source: Cruise Youtube