Autonomous vehicles are said to be 1.4 times safer than non-autonomous cars, as per the United States findings, and reported by Tesla.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Administration (RTA) has decided to beef up their 50 Tesla cars to 125 in the near future, and a Tesla costs $144,000.
The purchase would cost RTA about $10.4 million as per our calculations.
Is it a good decision to make?
According to NBC news, Tesla is recalling almost half of all the vehicles the company has so far produced, after corroding bolts that could lead to the loss of power steering has forced the company to fix 123,000 of its Model S sedans.
The service action comes at a particularly inopportune time for the California car maker.
“Tesla’s stock fell by one-third of its value in recent weeks as a result of a series of problems including continued production problems with the Model 3 sedan, financial trouble, and a fatal crash now being probed by federal regulators,” said NBC.
Time magazine reported that Tesla’s billionaire CEO Elon Musk has lost 17 percent of his personal fortune just in the last month.
From the looks of it, RTA’s decision may not be justified.
The California accident
Last week, it was reported by BBC that a fatal accident happened on a highway in California killing the driver.
This was in part due to the car being in autonomous drive mode.
The Tesla Model X sounded the hands-on alarm to the driver prior the accident for more than 30 seconds and 6 seconds before the crash, as per Tesla’s investigation.
Not only this, but the driver had an unobstructed view of the concrete divider for more than 150m, and he failed to steer the car away.
The reason the crash happened was due to the driver having the adaptive cruise control follow-distance set to minimum; meaning the sensors search for the closest vehicle to follow on automatic.
The Model X, as per the company’s claim, was fully functional and performed just like any autonomous car, braking, accelerating, and steering the way it was designed.
That being said, it begs the question of what went wrong?
To the best of our knowledge, the car failed to spot the concrete wall and break in time.
Let’s face it. If you were going 70 km/h, and your breaks had 6 seconds to stop a 2.4-ton object, that would be physically impossible.
In a related incident, earlier this month UBER was testing their self-driving vehicle implementation, in Arizona, which killed a pedestrian crossing the street, although it was not a Tesla car.
Self-driving is still safer
Tesla expects that if the autonomous technology is implemented in the near future worldwide, and by their estimation, they can save 900,000 lives each year from 1.25 million, which is the average yearly deaths caused by vehicles. Tesla also claims that autonomous cars are ten times safer than non-autonomous ones.
So, why was this crash in California fatal?
This is both in part because of the local government not repairing a crash attenuator, a highway safety barrier which is designed to reduce the impact into a concrete lane divider, and in part because of the driver.
Again, the car performed all its duties as was advertised.
What does this mean for the UAE?
Spending about $10.4 million is a good bet, and as reported by Arabian Business, Adel Ahmed Sharif; director of fleet operations at Dubai Taxi Corporation said that this would save $1.2 million in fuel consumption.
Customers have reported a 97% satisfaction in Teslas.
Both Tesla and the RTA are strict on safety, and to drive in one or any electric vehicle you need to have an excellent driving record and have gone through a course designed to teach you how to operate and maintain an electric car.