Dubai's RTA buys 200 Tesla cars, no driver required

Transport authority signs deal with US firm to buy electric vehicles fitted with autonomous driving technology

Dubai's transport authority has signed an agreement with US-based Tesla to buy 200 electric vehicles fitted with autonomous driving technology.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said the new vehicles will be added to the limousine fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC). 

The deal was inked on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai by Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the RTA and Elon Musk, chairman and CEO of Tesla Inc. 

“This agreement is... part of the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy aimed at transforming 25 percent of total journeys in Dubai into autonomous journeys by 2030," said Al Tayer. 

Al Tayer also welcomed the move by Tesla to open an office in Dubai for distributing and maintaining its vehicles.

He added that the RTA would carry out a test run of Tesla autonomous electric vehicles as part of the Dubai Taxi limo fleet.

According to Tesla, the RTA will purchase Model S sedans and Model X SUVs from Tesla for the program. It added that in addition to all-electric vehicles, Tesla has also designed a set of energy generation and storage products, Powerwall, Powerpack and solar roof.

Tesla said that the Model S and the Model X vehicles purchased by 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," the company added.

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