The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sanctioned the first national license for self-driving vehicles, breaking ground both in the Middle East and on the global stage. This landmark approval was granted to WeRide, a trailblazer in the L4 autonomous driving technology sphere. The announcement was made by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, through a Twitter post. This permit empowers WeRide to carry out wide-ranging road tests and operations of autonomous driving vehicles within the UAE’s boundaries.
Why It Matters
This development signifies a pivotal shift in the UAE’s future mobility patterns, aligning with Dubai’s ambitious goal of realizing 25% of all transportation via fully autonomous operation by 2030. As the first national-level autonomous driving license in the Middle East and globally, it represents a significant step toward the progression of autonomous technology.
WeRide had previously carried out public testing and operations on specific roads within the UAE over a year before being awarded the national self-driving license. The company’s Robotaxi has even been offered as a free service for visitors to Saadiyat Island and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi as part of the Eid al-Adha holiday services.
Moreover, WeRide has actively pursued the expansion of its autonomous driving products and services on an international scale, particularly in the Middle East. This included establishing a local team in the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone to hasten the commercialization of autonomous driving technology in the UAE.
With this milestone, WeRide is set to deepen its presence in the Middle East and extend its top-quality autonomous driving technology, products, and services to a broader customer base. This national license approval does not only validate WeRide’s autonomous technology but also sets the stage for an exciting era in autonomous driving in the UAE and beyond. The company has already shown impressive progress in Saudi Arabia, further cementing its leadership position in the global autonomous driving sector.