China’s WeRide receives driverless vehicle license from UAE


The United Arab Emirates, which plans to make 25 percent of the country’s transportation fully autonomous by 2030, has granted the Chinese autonomous driving company WeRide its first national license for autonomous vehicles.

By 2030, 25 percent of transportation in the UAE will be made by autonomous vehicles

The license permit allows WeRide to test its autonomous vehicles on public roads nationwide. The decision is also part of a national policy for electric vehicles in the United Arab Emirates, as part of UAE Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s policies to support transformation in the automotive sector. The policy also includes creating a national charging network, regulating the electric vehicle market and promoting related industries that can reduce carbon emissions and maintain the quality of roads.

The UAE, and especially its most populous city, Dubai, has hosted several self-driving vehicle trials over the years. In 2019 Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) held the Driverless Transport World Conference, an event aimed at bringing together industry leaders in space. This year’s conference is scheduled for September and includes a competition where companies and academic institutions will showcase their autonomous bus solutions. Rashid Al Maktoum has a goal of limiting the number of vehicles on Dubai roads and scaling robotaxis operations to 4,000 vehicles by 2030.

Robotaksi is scheduled to serve the streets of Dubai this year

The city has also invested in the San Francisco-based self-driving car company Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, to test and develop the robotaxis. Cruise began mapping Dubai in July 2022 in preparation for a scheduled launch in 2023. The company plans to launch its purpose-built robotaxis Cruise Origins on the streets of Dubai this year.

Chinese autonomous vehicle company WeRide has driverless testing permits in both the US and China. The company currently operates one of the world’s largest autonomous driving fleets in more than 25 cities around the world.

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