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Tesla Building Fleet Of Self-Driving 'Model S' And 'Model X' Taxis

By Jomar Teves , Feb 15, 2017 03:30 AM EST
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Tesla cars have officially entered the Middle East market this week and now, they are already gearing up towards becoming the next newest taxis in Dubai. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Tuesday have signed an agreement with electric automaker company Tesla to purchase 200 electric vehicles, featuring several components of autonomous driving technologies.

RTA Purchases Electric Cars From Tesla

According to GulfNews, the RTA will purchase Model X SUVs and Model S sedans from Tesla for the intended program. The said new vehicles will be adding to the limousine fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC).

The official announcement was made during the World Government Summit held in Dubai. Speaking earlier at a press conference on Monday, Tesla co-founder and current CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the company has officially entered the UAE market, and are already accepting and taking orders for its electric vehicles.

RTA's Goal Towards Driverless Transportation

"The agreement will also reflect RTA's efforts towards providing driverless transportation solutions through undertaking technological tests of autonomous transit options," said Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.

Al Tayer also explained that the RTA would carry be carrying out test runs of Tesla's autonomous electric vehicles as part of its objective to support the Dubai Government's efforts in transforming Dubai into the smartest city in mobility worldwide by the year 2020.

The Benefits Of Self-Driving Taxis

According to BGR, Tesla also claims that the Model S and the Model X vehicles that were purchased by the RTA are all equipped with the necessary hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level that is greater than that of a human driver. Tesla's Autopilot feature is also designed as a hands-on experience to give drivers, even more, confidence driving in UAE streets, increase their safety and awareness on the road, and make highway driving more enjoyable by reducing the driver's workload.

TAG tesla, RTA, Dubai
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