Authorities in Dubai want 25 percent of traffic in the city to be autonomous by 2030. To make their dreams a reality, they have recently placed an order with Tesla for 200 Model S and Model X vehicles with fully self-driving capabilities. The deal was made and announced on the same day as Tesla officially started doing business in the United Arab Emirates.
The agreement was signed by none other than Elon Musk and the head of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Agency, Mattar Al-Tayer, who also made a short statement. He said that the agreement represents the implementation of the directives given by the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world.
There’s no word on exactly when Tesla will deliver the 200 electric vehicles that will join Dubai Taxi Corporation’s fleet. Tesla’s software that will enable its cars to be fully autonomous is not available yet and might be ready towards the end of the year. The company will release it per region, as it has to obtain regulatory approval in each country.
Dubai really is a futuristic city with big dreams. In addition to the plans of getting fully self-driving Teslas on the road, Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Agency also wants to offer autonomous transportation by air. The agency recently announced that the EHang 184 human-sized quadcopter will start carrying passengers through the skyline of Dubai in July.