17 Feb 17
Dubai wants 25% driverless trips by 2030
Dubai announced this month that it will buy a total of 200 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs from Tesla for the 10,000-strong taxi and limo fleet in its capital city, pictured. The deal figures in the government-sponsored Dubai Future Foundation's promotion of a driverless-taxi programme, and more broadly in Dubai's ambition to make 25% of car trips in the Emirate driverless by 2030.
Driverless (and electric) transport may still seem far-fetched, but its preliminaries are currently being tested – or soon will be – in Washington DC, Amsterdam, Bevery Hills and Pittsburgh. Fully autonomous mass transit is in the cards for 2035 or thereabouts, experts say.
By next year, Tesla, Uber, Google and others will begin releasing commercial autonomous vehicles, but initial improvements in congestion, pollution and efficiency will be limited until a tipping point is reached. Most benefits of autonomous driving don't kick in until the private fleet market has shrunk by 60%, a study by the International Transport Forum recently found.
Image: Doris Antony, GFDL