Dubai: Get ready to jump into a Tesla car the next time you order a taxi, as authorities have added 50 of the electric cars to its limo fleet.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai launched the latest addition, which were fitted with several components of self-driving techniques, to the fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) on Sunday.
The operation of Tesla electric vehicles is a manifestation of the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world.
Look: Tesla cars are the latest taxis in Dubai
It also replicates the Green Economy for Sustainable Development Initiative of Shaikh Mohammad, and the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy aimed at converting 25 per cent of total journeys into driverless journeys by 2030.
The launch of the Tesla vehicles was held at the entrance of Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3. It was attended by a number of senior officials, including Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, and Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports.
“The RTA has recently taken delivery of 50 Tesla vehicles as part of a deal for 200 vehicles signed last February on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2017. Accordingly, 75 vehicles will be supplied in 2018, and 75 others to be delivered in 2019. The Dubai Taxi Corporation has coordinated with the concerned parties to provide the needed infrastructure to ensure the operation of these vehicles including the provision of 13 electric recharging stations,” said Al Tayer.
After the official launch, Shaikh Ahmed, and Al Tayer boarded one of the vehicles for a short tour.
Models S & X
The Tesla vehicles procured by the RTA of Models S and X 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,” added Al Tayer.