The Times reports that the world’s most ambitious commercial drone project may achieve lift-off in Dubai with the launch of an “Uber for the skies” later this year.
The dream of a pilotless flying taxi has preoccupied entrepreneurs and engineers at EHang, in Guangzhou, southern China, for three years. The authorities in Dubai said earlier this month that the EHang 184 air taxi would operate from July.
The aim of the Dubai smart transport strategy is to make one-in-four journeys driverless by 2030. To that end, Dubai already has had the box-shaped driverless EZ10, built by France’s EasyMile, cruise nearby the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
The drone, which is expected to cost about A$325,000, is designed for one passenger and limited luggage, reports The Times.
It’s built to carry a maximum total of 100kg for up to 23 minutes, flying at about 100kph at a height of up to 500m. After buckling into its race-car-style seat, the craft’s sole passenger selects a destination on a touch-screen pad in front of the seat and the drone flies there automatically. It will also be closely monitored from a command centre on the ground.
Although Dubai authorities envisage a go-anywhere service, it may start with set routes for the tourism and entertainment markets.
Source: Women Love Tech