A law has been issued regulating the operations of self-driving vehicles in Dubai by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. This law No. (9) of 2023 articulates the duties and responsibilities of the Roads and Transports Authority (RTA) in modulating the sector, which consists of developing strategic plans and policies to enhance the operations of self-driving vehicles in Dubai, recognizing categories of autonomous vehicles in Dubai, and setting technical, operational and safety standards for the vehicles.
All these new laws and regulations are a part of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s exemplary vision to transform Dubai into a model city, and an inspiration for future envisioners. Sheikh Mohammed is implementing such strategic models and developmental instruments to make Dubai the best place in the world to live, work and visit.
The New law outlines the licensing protocols and the responsibilities of operators and passengers
The law summarizes the licensing procedures and methodology, and the duties and responsibilities of operators, agents, and passengers. It also explains the obligations of operators of self-driving vehicles in the case of accidents. The operators of these self-driving vehicles will be held responsible for covering all damages caused by the accidents.
The Authority is responsible for circumscribing the roads, areas, and routes that self-driving vehicles operate in, marking their speed limits, and laying down a substructure for dealing with other aspects of their operations. Roads and Transport Authority also have the additional responsibility of constructing the necessary infrastructure for the operation of self-driving vehicles and solutions for traffic management essential to make sure of road safety and to avoid traffic disorganizations.
The law also assigns the responsibilities and provisions related to issuing the licenses to the Road and Transport Authority. Any work involving autonomous vehicles requires a license given by the RTA’s Director-General and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors.
The law also clearly stipulates the conditions for obtaining a license for any activities concerning autonomous vehicles. Passing the RTA’s technical test and competence to read and act according to the road signs are mandatory elements for registering autonomous vehicles.
When the new law does not directly address a topic, the relevant provisions of Federal Law No. (21) of 1995 Concerning Road Traffic, its implementing regulations, modifications, and decisions, will apply.. If there is any other legislation that may conflict with the new law, that legislation will be invalidated. This new Law No. (9) of 2023 will be brought into effect within 90 days after its declaration is published in the Official Gazette.
This new legislation has strict regulations and orders regarding the sales of autonomous vehicles including selling and trading driverless cars must be handled by licensed dealers. Even the process of transferring from one operator to another is concerned with RTA,s pre-approval.
Violations against this law are not tolerated and are fined with a penalty charge of an amount between AED 500 and AED 20,000. This amount is subject to increase, which could even be doubled in case of repeated contravention in the same year. The maximum fine for the violation is charted at AED 50,000.
The law demands the cooperation of all government entities in Dubai towards the Roads and Transport Authority, to aid this institution with the smooth functioning of its responsibilities concerning all the matters concerning the autonomous vehicle sector.
The Vice-President, Prime Minister, and ruler of Dubai brought this law into effect to upgrade Dubai’s smart mobility transformation, bring more attention to this sector to increase investments in the sector, and build and enhance an environment that facilitates the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the transportation sector too.
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It was the Sheikh’s vision to convert almost 25% of Dubai’s transportation into autonomous vehicles by the end of 2030.
Self- Driving cars are not a distant dream for the people of Dubai Emirate. Autonomous vehicles are set to be on the roads by the end of 2023. And as an answer to the anticipation, it was declared by the Road and Transports Authority, earlier this month that there will be 10 self-driving cabs open to the public in the area of Jumeirah by the end of 2023. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai and the Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai announced an agreement signed between RTA and Cruise almost 2 years ago.
Cruise is a renowned brand and expert in the field of autonomous vehicles. The Autonomous cabs that are set to be open to the public are developed by this US-based company. This Agreement was signed by His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, the Director General. He stated after the hallmark day of signing the agreement that a limited number of autonomous vehicles will be seen starting in 2023 and it will be increasing up to 4,000 by 2030.