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Tesla was invited to use data collected in the UAE to accelerate autonomous driving in the region. In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg, UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar Al Olama talked about Dubai and the UAE’s goal to ramp autonomous driving in the next five years. He talked about giving incentives in the form of data so startups and companies, like Tesla, are encouraged them to test their autonomous vehicles in the UAE and Dubai.
“Autonomous driving is going to come through…We’ve signed agreements with some of the cutting-edge companies in autonomous driving so we can ensure that we can map out the streets in Dubai and in the UAE to provide autonomous car companies an incentive to come and start-up here,” said UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.
“Usually it costs a lot of money for them to collect all [of this] data. But as a government, we can collect it, and then give it to them as an incentive to start up. So we are expected to ramp up on autonomous driving quite quickly, over the course of the next five years.”
He also invited companies like Tesla and startups to come to Dubai and the UAE to develop their autonomous driving software. “I think Tesla and way more--and many of the other competitors as well in this field are welcome [to come and test in Dubai]. The infrastructure is cutting edge. The country as well has very agile polices. So if you want a testbed, I think the UAE and Dubai are really a haven for that,” he said.
The Dubai Future Foundation has already outlined its strategy to reach “Autonomous Mode” by 2030, around the same time most countries plan to phase out ICE vehicles. The foundation seeks to transform at least 25% of Dubai’s total transportation to autonomous mode, estimating a savings of AED 22 billion in annual economic costs.
The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy will also launch a Dubai World Autonomous Transportation Challenge, in an effort to encourage the rest of the world to embrace autonomous modes of transportation.
Given the UAE and Dubai's autonomous goals, the region seems to be a perfect fit for Tesla Autopilot and the company's Full Self-Driving (FSD) Package. Tesla has made good progress with its Autopilot and FSD software in the first half of 2020. TSLA bulls expect FSD to be a profitable source of revenue for the EV automaker.
So far, Tesla has collected over 2 billion miles worth of real-world data for its autonomous software. The UAE and Dubai's offer could add more valuable data for Tesla to use, specifically unique circumstances that could help its autonomous software grow and become more flexible.Follow @PurplePanda88
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Ma. Claribelle Deveza
Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.