Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an agreement with Tesla, a world-leading manufacturer of autonomous electric vehicles, for buying 200 electric vehicles fitted with several components of autonomous driving technologies.
The new vehicles will add to the limousine fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC), a statement said.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2017.
Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman RTA, signed the agreement on behalf of RTA; Elon Musk, chairman and CEO of Tesla signed it on behalf of the company, in the presence of several executives and officials from both parties.
“This agreement is in implementation of the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the world’s smartest city, and the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative. It is also part of the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy aimed at transforming 25 per cent of total journeys in Dubai into autonomous journeys by 2030,” said Al Tayer.
The agreement also reflects RTA’s efforts towards providing driverless transportation solutions through undertaking technological tests of autonomous transit means, he said.
Al Tayer welcomed the step of Tesla to open an office in Dubai for distributing and maintaining its vehicles.
“Last year, Tesla developed a system for generating and storing solar energy in Tesla vehicles and broadened its scope to manufacture buses and heavy vehicles. It has also improved the autonomous driving systems by migrating from semi-autonomous driving to a fully autonomous driving environment; thus obviating the need for a human driver. It is also engaged in improving the shared mobility service through developing service systems for the next generation,” added Al Tayer.
Al Tayer noted that the RTA would carry out a test run of Tesla autonomous electric vehicles as part of the Dubai Taxi limo fleet.
According to Tesla, the RTA will purchase Model S sedans and Model X SUVs from Tesla for the programme. Tesla’s Model S received the highest possible safety ratings at launch and has the longest range of any electric vehicle.
Tesla reports that the Model S and the Model X vehicles purchased by RTA are equipped with the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level greater than that of a human driver. Tesla’s Autopilot is designed as a hands-on experience to give drivers more confidence behind the wheel, increase their safety on the road, and make highway driving more enjoyable by reducing the driver’s workload, the statement said. – TradeArabia News Service