5% of Dubai Taxi’s fleet to be self-driving cabs by 2023

Eco-friendly vehicles in the fleet to reach 56%.

By 2023, five per cent of Dubai Taxi’s fleet will be converted into self-driving cabs, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Saturday.

The RTA recently signed a partnership agreement with General Motors-backed Cruise to run driverless taxis and shared transport service in Dubai, rendering it the first city outside the US to operate such vehicles.

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According to the pact, the RTA is completing all preparations for the launch of self-driving taxis in 2023 with a limited number of vehicles. The number of vehicles in operation will be scaled up gradually to reach 4,000 self-driving taxis by 2030.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA, revealed the Dubai Taxi Corporation’s (DTC) Strategic Plan 2021-2023 which aims to overhaul the Dubai taxi sector by employing artificial intelligence and smart systems.

The plan consists of six corporate values, five strategic goals, and 11 strategic objectives measured by 23 indices. The plan encompasses 51 improvement initiatives, including increasing the proportion of eco-friendly vehicles in Dubai Taxi to reach 56 per cent by 2023.

“The process requires increasing the fleet of taxis and limos to match the rapid growth seen by the emirate and step up the integration of transportation means. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to ease the mobility of mass transit riders to their final destinations, especially Expo 2020 visitors,” he said.

“We aim to provide mobility services featuring diverse options in terms of the level of comfort and care in modern taxis, be it limo service, airport taxi, ladies taxi, family taxi … etc. Our efforts are focused on meeting customers’ needs through sustained improvement, stylish services, and diverse service channels, especially smart platforms,” he added.

51 initiatives

DTC’s Strategic Plan’s five objectives are – digital transport, future shaping, financial sustainability, people happiness, and operational excellence. The plan includes 51 initiatives spanning several key aspects highlighted by: increasing DTC’s market share in the taxi sector from 41.5 per cent to 44 per cent by 2023, increasing the market share of limousines operated by e-hail apps from 8.5 per cent to 12 per cent by 2023, and increasing the percentage of taxi trips through the same apps from 14 per cent to 16 per cent by 2023.

“The plan also aims to convert five per cent of the taxi fleet into autonomous vehicles by 2023 and increase the percentage of environmentally-friendly vehicles to 56 per cent. In the financial sustainability aspect, the plan seeks to make saving in expenses and increase the operational and non-operational revenues,” stated Al Tayer.

People happiness

The plan sets a target of pushing customers’ satisfaction rating of taxi service to 90 per cent, school bus service to 93 per cent, drivers happiness index to 84 per cent, and employees’ happiness index to 89 per cent by 2023.

As for operations, the plan provides for improving operations management systems and safety specifications. DTC is seeking to raise the ratio of revenue mileage from 49 per cent to 53 per cent by 2023, maintain the operational efficiency of taxis and limousines in the range of 90 per cent, and reduce the rate of carbon dioxide emissions.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

author

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for over ten years. For Khaleej Times, she covers NRI affairs, civil aviation, and immigration issues among other things. She completed her BA in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008 and is currently pursuing her MA in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media at the American University in Dubai. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves food, and is mom to an over-enthusiastic Labrador retriever. Tweet at her @shootsprintrite.

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