Dubai: Tesla cars have entered the market this week and now, they are already gearing up to become the next newest taxis in Dubai.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Tuesday signed an agreement with electric automaker Tesla to purchase 200 electric vehicles, fitted with several components of autonomous driving technologies.
According to Tesla, the RTA will purchase Model S sedans and Model X SUVs from Tesla for the program. The new vehicles will add to the limousine fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC).
“This agreement is in implementation of the directives of Shaikh Mohammad 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,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.
“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.
Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA signed the agreement on behalf of RTA, Elon Musk, Chairman and CEO of Tesla Inc. signed it on behalf of the company, in the presence of several executives and officials from both parties.
The announcement was made on the sidelines of the World Government Summit.
Speaking earlier at a press conference on Monday, Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla confirmed that the company has entered the UAE market, and are already taking orders for its electric vehicles.
"The agreement also reflects RTA’s efforts towards providing driverless transportation solutions through undertaking technological tests of autonomous transit means,” said Al Tayer.
Al Tayer explained that the RTA would carry out a test run of Tesla autonomous electric vehicles as part of its objective to support the Dubai Government efforts in transforming Dubai into the smartest city in mobility worldwide by 2020.
Tesla reports that the Model S and the Model X vehicles purchased by the 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.
Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA signed the agreement on behalf of RTA, Elon Musk, Chairman and CEO of Tesla Inc. signed it on behalf of the Company, in the presence of several executives and officials from both parties.