Tesla vehicle to join Dubai’s publicly-owned taxi fleet

Tesla cars will be added to Dubai's publicly-owned taxi fleet as the city is looking forward to slowing phase out petrol vehicles completely.

Tesla cars will be added to Dubai’s publicly-owned taxi fleet as the city is looking forward to slowing phase out petrol vehicles completely.

According to the Roads and Transport Authority, it added Model 3 saloons to the Dubai Taxi Corporation’s services.

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It has been following a trial run from 2017 in which 172 Model S, X and 3s were used in the RTA’s higher-end limo service.

The authority’s director-general, Mattar Al Tayer, stated, “The success of that experiment encourages us to broaden the scope of operating electric vehicles as part of the Dubai Taxi fleet over the forthcoming years.”

On Sunday, 3 June, a statement did not provide the exact number of vehicles or list how much investment was required. The fleet presently uses Toyota Camry saloons as well as Toyota Innova people carriers, and also some Hyundai Sonata models.

During recent months, more charging stations has started to pop up around the city.

The Tesla cars will be used on a 24-hour-per-day rota to operate during all events and hotspots around the emirate, particularly in Dubai airports, where DTC manages the most extensive fleet of Tesla vehicles in the United Arab Emirates.

Presently, around 71% of Dubai’s overall 5700 vehicle taxi fleet is classified as environment-friendly, with Camry hybrid saloons the most common and used model, while others use NGV gas.

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The city also wants to roll out the first autonomous taxis by the end of 2023. Last month, it started mapping the streets with the help of Google Maps-style vehicles to make a digital way for driverless cars.

The primary aim is to have a highly precise digital/online map that a vehicle’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) computer will be able to follow without any requirement of a person behind the steering wheel. The move will be a major development for the UAE.

Tariq Saeed

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