Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it even Superman? No, it's just a flying taxi!
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Monday that trials for the autonomous air taxi (AAT) will begin in the fourth quarter of this year. What’s unique about these air taxis is that they will be completely autonomous, meaning they will be powered by autopilot allowing passengers to go from A to B without the need for a pilot or any human intervention. The AAT will carry two people, have low noise and powered from clean energy making it environmentally friendly.
RTA are currently working with strategic partners to plan the logistics including route journeys and the location of the pick-up and drop off points. RTA recently signed a contract with German tech company, Volocopter to manufacturer these AAT’s.
The AAT, powered by electricity, contains 18 rotors to ensure safe cruising and landing in case of any rotor failure, Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA, said. During the trial, all aspects relating to the operation, security and safety of the autonomous aerial taxi will be verified and checked, according to Al Tayer. “The official operation hinges on the readiness of companies and the availability of legislations necessary for operating autonomous aerial vehicles.”
The maximum flight time on one of these flying taxis is 30 minutes with a top speed of 100km/hour. However, missing the Dubai traffic will certainly cut down on the journey time. Dubai will be the first city in the world to develop guidelines and policies regarding autonomous travel with the emirate hoping for 25% of all transport to be fully autonomous by the year 2030.
Missing rush hour traffic whilst snapping from the sky? We can’t wait!
Watch the video below to see how the taxi will operate...