Dubai’s Pilotless Flying Taxi Drones To Begin Carrying Passengers This Summer
At a time when most of the world is still debating on how to best regulate drone use for both consumer and commercial purposes (not to mention the use of autonomous vehicles on American roads), Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority has gone ahead and given the approval for the use of aerial drones to transport people.
The impressiveness of this move can't be understated. Over the past few years, some major companies have been trying hard to make drone-use in business viable, especially Amazon. Only recently was the etail giant able to give "Prime Air" a test run, and that was in the UK. But here we have Dubai kicking things up a few notches by offering flying taxis. These aircraft are not just tasked with delivering things like potato chips and shampoo; they're actually carrying paying passengers.
To make this a reality, the RTA has partnered with Chinese firm Ehang, and the result is the Ehang 184. Just last week, Ehang showed the vehicle off at the World Government Summit; but we're not sure many there realized that this was the real deal. This is the exact model that would legitimately take people from point A to point B.
Front and center within the Ehang 184's cockpit is a touchscreen that shows a map of the entire area, allowing people to punch in their intended destination. With all of its smarts under the hood, the driverless vehicle will ascend when it's safe, make its way to and then land at the designated location.
Dubai isn't interested in flying cars simply because they're cool (which they are), but instead because its roads are simply becoming too cluttered, and major strides should be taken over the next decade to alleviate some of the traffic. That is something drones are more than capable of aiding in this process at a speed of up to 160 KPH.