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Self-Driving Flying Taxis to Be Launched in Dubai This July

Feb 16, 2017 10:14 AM EST

The future of transportation has arrived. Dubai's state transport authority has recently announced that Dubai is set to operationalize the "flying taxi" dubbed as the EHANG 184, in a few months.

The EHANG 184 was displayed at the World Government Summit 2017 last week. During the event director general of the Dubai Road and Transport Authority, Mattar al-Tayer made an announcement and told the reporters that the vehicle is not just a display.

"The aircraft is a real version that we have already experimented the vehicle in a flight in the Dubai sky. The RTA is making every effort to start the operation of the [AAV] in July 2017," Al Tayer said, as quoted by Gulf News.

READ: A Flying Car? Prototype Ready by End-2017, Airbus CEO Reveals

As stated on their website, the autonomous aerial vehicle, developed in collaboration with a Chinese drone-maker company is a safe, smart and eco-friendly hovering technology which aims to provide efficient transportation solution. With a total of eight propellers, the quadcopter is 100 percent powered by electricity.

In addition, the innovation does not require a driver. All the passenger needs to do is program their destination on the vehicle's computer screen and the self-driving vehicle will get them there. The flights are monitored by officials at a ground control center.

It can make trips up to 30 minutes away based on the hover-taxi's course at 100 kilometers an hour (60 mph). Most importantly, it includes an emergency landing feature and can operate under harsh weather conditions.

Science Alert notes that Dubai has also signed on to purchase 200 self-driving taxis from Tesla as it aims to make a quarter of its transport modes self-driving by 2030. The launch of the hover-taxi is part of their long-term plan to reduce traffic congestion in Dubai, and ultimately to reduce transportation costs and generate more economic revenues.

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