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Dubai’s passenger drones set for summer launch

Passenger drones could begin flying in Dubai as early as July, according to Mattar Al Tayer, the director general of emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

by Michael Long

Dubai’s passenger drones set for summer launch

Passenger drones could begin flying in Dubai as early as July, according to Mattar Al Tayer, the director general of emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Autonomous aerial taxis made by Chinese company Ehang have already been tested in Dubai’s skies as part of efforts by city authorities to increase driverless transportation and become a worldwide leader in autonomous mobility by 2030.

The eight-rotor Ehang 184 drones are capable carrying a single 100kg passenger and a small suitcase, are able to fly for up to 30 minutes on a single battery charge, and reach top speeds of 100 mph.

The pilotless drones, which were also approved for testing in Nevada last June, are directed and monitored from a command centre and fitted with advanced navigation technology. Passengers select their chosen destination using an on-board tablet - the only controls inside the aircraft.

The drone initiative is part of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy, which calls for 25 per cent of all journeys in Dubai to be driverless by 2030.

Al Tayer outlined the plans in a speech at this week’s World Government Summit 2017 in the UAE. During his speech, Al Tayer showed a short video on the first of its kind Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV). Watch the video below.