Tesla, in relation to its competitors, can still be considered a young player in the auto industry. Despite its lack of experience, however, it has managed to release and introduce a humble fleet of electric vehicles, which have been positively and popularly accepted by the public. But Elon Musk recently announced that it has its eyes set on bigger shores.
As BRG has reported, Tesla currently has a hold in the United States, Europe and China. Musk, however, is always thinking of the bigger picture and just announced that the company is going to invest "tens of millions of dollars" into putting a foot into Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. And it is already getting the ball rolling.
Musk confirmed that Tesla had already entered the UAE market and that interested individuals can already place orders for the Model S and the Model X. Consequently, deliveries are expected to actually start rolling out within the next few months as summer hits. The company is also planning to build about 50 supercharger stations across the country.
Things will official kick off with a pop-up store that Tesla plans to open in Dubai. Afterwards, however, the company will open a full-fledged store in Abu Dhabi, which is estimated to open sometime next year. And while the company is putting in a lot of effort to get into the UAE, the country is putting in its effort as well.
The publication also reported that the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced its own initiative to support the growing electric vehicle trend. A new program with the Dubai Taxi Corporation outlines that 200 Model S and Model X vehicles will be added to its fleet of taxis and limousines. These units will reportedly be fitted with Tesla's full range of self-driving software.
But Dubai is thinking beyond fully autonomous taxis and cars. CNTraveler has reported that the RTA has plans to mobilize drone-carrying taxis as well, which will theoretically minimize the inconvenience of road traffic. But while the idea seems incredibly farfetched and far off into the future, testing as already begun. Furthermore, the agency plans to go live later this year in July.
The actual drone taxi is an egg-shaped device designed by a Chinese Company, EHang. One unit can reportedly carry one passenger and a bag, as long as the total weight maximizes at 220 pounds. On a single full charge, however, the drone can only stay airborne for about 30 minutes. It has a top speed of 100 mph and a range of 31 miles. It will be driven by remotely or using a pre-determined flight path from a command center.
At this point, there have been no announcements regarding pricing and how many drone taxis will launched. It is likely to be dependent on how quickly and popularly the new method of travel will be received. The publication has pointed out that Dubai, after all, is one of the countries known for having a penchant for luxury cars. Nevertheless, the drone taxis would be an innovative solution to the country's traffic issue.