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Dubai adds 50 driverless Tesla to its taxi fleet

Al Tayer said that the vehicles are fitted with several components of self-driving technologies. (Image source: RTA)

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chief executive of Emirates Airline & Group, and chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, has launched 50 Tesla electric vehicles to the limo fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation, aiming to increasing road-safety and making highway driving more enjoyable by reducing the driver?s workload

The delivery of 50 Tesla vehicles is a part of the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority?s (RTA) deal for 200 vehicles signed in World Government Summit in February 2017. Under the deal, RTA will receive 75 vehicles in 2018 and 75 others in 2019.

In line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to achieve smart autonomous mobility strategy, the Tesla electric vehicles aimed at converting 25 per cent of total journeys into driverless journeys by 2030.

?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 Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA, during the launch.

The vehicles contracted by the RTA are of two models, (S) from Sedan and (X) from SUVs of Tesla make. Al Tayer said that model (S) aims to guarantee safety during covering the longest distance amongst electric vehicles. Model (X), featuring falcon wing doors, windshield and seven-seat configuration, aims to provide comfort and manoeuvrability, said Al Tayer.

?Both models can benefit from the free over-the-air software updates that add new features and functionality over time,? he added.

Al Tayer further said, ?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.?