Dubai signed an agreement with Tesla Inc on Tuesday to buy 200 Tesla hybrid electric vehicles to become a leader in the self-driving car space.
The deal was signed by Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Road and Transport Authority (RTA) Mattar al Tayer and Tesla CEO Elon Musk on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2017.
The new vehicles will be added to the limousine fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC). The deal is part of Dubai government’s efforts to make 25% of the car trips autonomous by 2030.
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“It [the deal] is part of the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy aimed at transforming 25% of total journeys in Dubai into autonomous journeys by 2030. The agreement also reflects RTA’s efforts towards providing driverless transportation solutions through undertaking technological tests of autonomous transit means,” the RTA chief said.
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The agreement came as Tesla began selling its electric cars in Dubai, marking its first foray into the Middle East.
According to Tesla, the RTA will purchase Model S sedans and Model X SUVs for the programme. The company further claimed that the the Model S and 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.