Dubai is striving to set itself apart from other cities by embracing driverless technology with its Dubai drone taxi. Plans to roll out the flying drone taxis are well underway and are set to come into fruition by summer. These passenger-carrying drones, as Tech Crunch reports, are intended to relieve traffic congestion and commuting issues. While other countries such as the U.S. are still testing self-driving cars, Dubai is already looking at making it a viable transportation alternative.
Mashable first broke the news by quoting Mattar Al Tayer, head of Dubai’s Road and Transportation Agency, at the recent World Government Summit. He shared plans to launch—as early as July this year—one-passenger drones. The report added that the passenger drone service will be ferrying commuters to and from predetermined areas. Al Tayer was additionally cited as saying that these are not just plans. He stated that they have working models, which have been tested and flown in Dubai sky.
Details on the Dubai Drone Taxi
Reports further revealed that the city will be using the Ehang 184, a self-driving quad-opener electric drone.
The all-electric flying drone can carry a maximal load of 220 lbs. The flying drone taxi can run up to 31 miles on a single charge. And it can reach speeds of 100 mph. The personal aircraft—which weighs 500 lbs.—is big enough for a single passenger. There is also space for a small suitcase, which can be stowed at the back compartment. The cutting-edge taxis will be remotely monitored by city officials and piloted from a central command center. It will reportedly run at speeds of 60 mph. And it will feature security harnesses and a touchscreen console to record the passenger’s destination.
All these undoubtedly pushes the envelope of transportation technology. And it is something that other advanced cities are sure to emulate. If all goes to plan, Dubai’s skyline will be dotted with more than just skyscrapers in just a few short months.