GM’s Self-Driving EV Subsidiary Expands to Dubai

DETROIT – General Motors’ autonomous vehicle subsidiary is expanding its operations internationally, beginning with service in Dubai.

Cruise, which GM acquired in 2016, and Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority announced an agreement Monday naming the company the exclusive provider of self-driving taxis and ride-hailing services in the city. 

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Operations in the United Arab Emirates city are expected to being in 2023 and the agreement lasts through 2029. According to a statement from the Roads and Transport Authority, Cruise expects to operating a fleet of up to 4,000 vehicles in Dubai by 2030.

“The selection of Cruise was not taken lightly. We engaged in a comprehensive, multi-year process to choose the best possible partner,” said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, chairman of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority board of executive directors, in a statement .

The Cruise Origin, the company’s first self-driving electric-powered shuttle, will be built at GM’s Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, where the automaker plans to build most of its electric-powered vehicles.

The fleet will run on batteries made by Ultium Cells in Lordstown.

In the United States, Cruise has focused its fleet largely in San Francisco, where it has 200 vehicles registered. However, the company has yet to announced when the self-driving fleet will be available for use by the public.

“There’s always a possibility a U.S. city could deploy the Origin first, but we’d need a regulatory framework here in the U.S. to do that,” a Cruise spokesman told CNBC.

Image via Cruise

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