The Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, of Dubai signed an agreement with Tesla Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of autonomous electric vehicles, to buy 200 hybrid electric vehicles fitted with several components of autonomous driving technologies.
According to Tesla, the RTA will purchase Model S sedans and Model X SUVs for the programme. The new vehicles will be added to the limousine fleet of Dubai Taxi Corporation, DTC.
Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, and Elon Musk, Chairman and CEO of Tesla, signed the agreement in the presence of several executives and officials from both parties, on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2017.
"This agreement is in sync 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 transform Dubai into the world’s smartest city, and also in line with the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative. It is also part of the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy, aimed to transform 25 percent of the total commutes in Dubai into autonomous commutes by 2030. The agreement further reflects the RTA’s efforts towards providing driverless transportation solutions by undertaking technical tests of autonomous transit systems,'' Al Tayer stated.
He also welcomed Tesla’s move to open an office in Dubai for distribution and maintenance of its vehicles.
"Tesla has been selected for its pioneering endeavours in manufacturing electric vehicles. The company is focussed on improvement and creativity in autonomous driving as well as power storage. Tesla is the sole producer of autonomous deluxe electric vehicles and as part of its efforts to utilise alternative energy sources, it took over Solar City Company," Al Tayer said.
"Last year, Tesla developed a hybrid system for generating and storing solar energy in its vehicles and broadened its scope to manufacture buses and heavy vehicles. It has also improved 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 shared mobility service by developing service systems for the next generation," he added.
Al Tayer said that the RTA would carry out a test run of Tesla’s autonomous hybrid electric vehicles as part of the Dubai Taxi limo fleet in a bid to support the Dubai government’s efforts in transforming Dubai into the smartest city in mobility by 2020.