In Dubai, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has His directives set to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. In a progressive move, the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched a new fleet of taxis to its lineup. However, these aren’t your everyday Toyota taxis (in Malaysia we get Proton). RTA’s latest additions are 50 Tesla Model S and X electric cars. This is a follow-through of the signing of a 200-car deal between RTA and Tesla Motors.
Mattar Al-Tayer, director general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA stated during the launch, “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.”
This move replicates the Green Economy for Sustainable Development Initiative of Shaikh Mohammad that aims to convert 25% of total journeys into driverless ones by 2030. Also in the mix is the talk of flying taxis as well but we’ll have to wait for a little bit more.
As of now, the DTC has also coordinated with concerning parties in order to provide the required infrastructure to ensure smooth operations including the provision of 13 electric charging stations. Customers in Dubai can now experience the benefits of Tesla taxis by using a hailing system and arrive at their desired destinations in a whisper quiet ride.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) September 17, 2017
Tesla’s Model S and X provided by the RTA are equipped with the necessary hardware for full self-driving capabilities with higher safety levels which are higher than any physical driver. Just a recap, Tesla’s Autopilot is a self-driving feature which is available for both the Model S and X.
It utilises radars, sensors and cameras located within the car. It scans the road ahead for markers and adjusts the speed and acceleration to match the speed of the cars in front, allowing occupants to relax and enjoy a stress-free journey.