Flying Taxi? In Dubai it’s Possible

Flying Taxi? In Dubai it’s Possible :On 13 February 2017 the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) announced at the World Government Summit that Dubai will soon have passenger carrying drones providing public transport services.

The RTA has partnered with Chinese company EHANG to introduce Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (AAV) as early as July 2017.

The EHANG 184, capable of carrying one passenger at a time, will apparently be guided simply by selecting a destination on a touch screen display.

RTA Director General and Chairman Mattar al-Tayer made the announcement and clarified: “This is not only a model. We have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies.”

The EHANG 184 has been designed to be 100% green technology and is powered only by electricity. Its battery allows for 30 minutes flying time and an approximate range of 50 km.

Take-off and landing points are pre-marked and preset. A landing camera ensures that the AAV lands automatically and accurately.

The main shell is manufactured from reinforced composite material with carbon fiber and epoxy, to make it light but resistant.

The EHANG 184 is designed with full redundancy: should the power system operate abnormally the AAV can still operate a normal flight plan and ensure the safety of the passenger together and the vehicle.

According to the EHANG Website “if any components malfunction or disconnect the aircraft will immediately land in the nearest possible area to ensure safety. The communication is encrypted and each AAV has its independent key”.

Specifications:

Maximum Output: 152 kw (8 motors)
Net Weight: 240 kg
Rated Payload: 100 kg
Cruising Autonomy: 30 minutes
Average Cruising Speed: 60 km/h

In April 2016 His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai, declared on his personal Twitter account that by 2030 25% of all trips in Dubai will be smart and driverless.

Sheikh Mohammed added: “The strategy will help increase traffic efficiency, productivity, reduce traffic congestions and pollution & save millions of driving hours”.

Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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