Although the license has been granted, the company is still in the testing phase with Level 4 autonomous vehicles.
The license was announced by the Deputy President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
According to WeRide, this is the first license issued in the country, and it is also the first national-level license issued to an autonomous vehicle company in the world, quoted from Carscoops, Thursday (7/6/2023).
WeRide says it will use the license to test Level 4 autonomous vehicles, which can handle all driving tasks but still have a steering wheel and pedals if a human driver wants to take over.
The UAE's decision to grant WeRide the national license comes at a time when the UAE is announcing its plans to accelerate technology development within its borders. Dubai, for example, wants to make 25 percent of its transport network autonomous by 2030.
Although this is the first national license for autonomous vehicles, several companies from around the world have already tested self-driving vehicles on UAE public roads.
WeRide and others including Cruise, owned by General Motors, have previously tested self-driving vehicles in the United Arab Emirates, albeit under more limited conditions.
WeRide tested robotic taxis on selected public roads in the United Arab Emirates for the first time last year. Previously, local company TXAI offered curious customers free rides on WeRide robotics on Yas Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
In addition, WeRide started testing autonomous buses in neighboring Saudi Arabia in September 2022.