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Cracking Dubai's 'Flying Taxi' -- How Will It Work?

Mar 11, 2017 05:55 AM EST
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Experts Weigh In On Dubai's 'Flying Taxi' Arsenal - Will It Work
Dubai's Roads and Transportation Authority confirmed that they will push through with their plan of using self-driving passenger drones that will patrol the skies.
(Photo : Julian Finney/Getty Images for XCAT)

Dubai left the world surprised after annoucing their plan of launching flying taxis by July 2017. However, how will the ambitious plan work?

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, said 25 percent of the transportation in Dubai will be driverless by 2030.

This is at least according to its Autonomous Transportation Strategy, as released in April 2016, and the plan may make sense after all. 

During the World Government Summit 2017, Dubai's Roads and Transportation Authority confirmed that they will push through with their plan of using self-driving passenger drones that will patrol the skies.

According to RTA chairman Mattar Al Tayer, the service will be available to the public by July with the help of the EHang 184.

The vehicle is from EHang, a company from Guangzhou, China. The car can carry up to 220 pounds and fly for 25 minutes up to two miles above sea level. While 25 minutes may seem a bit short, the mere fact that this will be a viable service is still surprising.

According to the company's website, EHang 184 has a sleek egg-like design. It has eight propellers and four legs. Passengers just have to set their destination and they will be on their way, courtesy of 4G LTE and GPS location systems.

Safety critics will also be glad to know that it has a failsafe that requires it to land immediately in case of an emergency, while a ground control center is always on standby to monitor everything.

According to Inverse, the vehicle's flight tests were conducted just last year, making this development quite a feat for the technology industry.

However, EHang is not the only vehicle that will invade the skies. Airbus Vahana was also approved for flight tests this June and will have a similar purpose. Uber has plans for flying car services as well. 

This means that it will only be a matter of time before flying jets, which we only see in science fiction, become reality. 

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