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Pilot-less flying taxi coming to Dubai this summer

Pilot-less flying taxi coming to Dubai this summer

EHang 184, autonomous aerial vehicle can transport one passenger weighing up to 100 kilograms along with a small suitcase

DUBAI (United Arab Emirates) – The road and transport authority of Dubai plans to launch pilot-less flying taxi service this summer. EHang 184, an autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) designed by a Chinese company. EHang 184 autonomous aerial vehicle is displayed at the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah.

Airbus, Uber and other companies are talking about creating test vehicles that would begin transporting cargo first, but Dubai’s Roads and Transport Agency (RTA) announced to begin operating passenger service along predetermined routes starting in July 2017.

Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the city’s Road and Transport Authority said that he hopes Dubai will have autonomous taxi drones zipping around its skyline this summer. The drones have a range of 30 kilometers (19 miles), flying at around 60 miles per hour, and are on track to take off within months, he added.

The craft will help Dubai achieve its goals of one in four journeys to be taken by driverless, autonomous transport by 2030.

The EHang is electric-powered and it will be generated by eight propellers and can travel for about 31 miles with a person and bag that weigh up to 100kg. It can go at speeds of up to 63 miles an hour and takes two hours to charge fully.

The net weight of the aircraft is 240 kilograms (529 pounds), once the passenger buckles up into the racecar-style seat, he is required to select a destination on the touch screen pad in front of him, and that’s it. The device was also approved for testing in Nevada in June 2016.

To call for a flying taxi all passengers will need to do is enter their destination into an app. The drone then maps the route and transports the passenger to their destination. It can’t fly directly but has to hop from one set landing spot to another.

If something bad does happen, such as a set of electric motors going offline, the vehicle can still operate a normal flight plan. In case a bigger malfunction ensues, the electronic brain of the 184 will command the drone to immediately land in the nearest area to ensure the passenger’s safety.

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