Dubai, July 3rd, 2023 — Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced via Twitter that the UAE has approved its first national license for self-driving vehicles on the country’s roads, which was granted to WeRide, a leading L4 autonomous driving technology company. This is the first national-level autonomous driving license in the Middle East and even globally. With this license, WeRide will conduct various road testing and operations of autonomous driving vehicles in the UAE.
It is reported that Dubai aims to have 25% of its transportation achieved fully autonomous operation by 2030. His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid emphasized that the issuance of the self-driving license reflects a change in the country’s future mobility patterns.
Prior to receiving this national self-driving license, WeRide’s Robotaxi had completed public testing and operations on certain roads in the UAE over a year. On June 29th, the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) in Abu Dhabi announced that as part of the Eid al-Adha holiday services, visitors to Saadiyat Island and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi can experience free autonomous driving car services, including a model called “TXAI,” which is launched in collaboration between WeRide and the locally listed company Bayanat.
WeRide has been actively expanding its autonomous driving products and services internationally, with the Middle East being one of its key focus areas. In March of this year, WeRide officially established its presence in the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone, forming a local team to further accelerate the commercialization of autonomous driving technology in the UAE region.
In addition to the rapid progress in the UAE, WeRide has also achieved remarkable results in Saudi Arabia. In September 2022, WeRide showcased at the 2022 Global Artificial Intelligence Summit held in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, and announced its collaboration with the Saudi Artificial Intelligence Company (SCAI) to launch the first dynamic robobus route in Saudi Arabia.
In December 2022, during the first China-Arab States Expo and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, witnessed by Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih, WeRide’s Vice President Jennifer Li and CEO of Ajlan & Brothers Holding Group Ali AlHazmi signed a memorandum of cooperation to jointly promote autonomous driving vehicles in Saudi Arabia.
In the future, WeRide will continue to deepen its presence in the Middle East region and bring high-quality autonomous driving technology, products, and services to more customers and consumers.