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First Self-Flying Taxi Launches in Dubai

News Dubai is an ever popular tourist and shopping destination. Numerous travelers arrive in the emirate to visit multiple places of attraction, superb malls, and stay in magnificent Dubai hotels. Now the emirate has one more landmark – an autonomous air taxi service. Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) together with Volocopter, a German manufacturer of autonomous air vehicles, test the new system of convenient and fast taxis.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, attended the presentation of the Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT). The test flight took place close to the famed Jumeirah Beach Park. Once open for public, the taxi will transport people and goods without any pilots involved. Currently, no other country offers a similar service, so Dubai will be the pioneer in the field of automated flying taxis.

The emirate has been testing driverless technologies lately. As Sheikh Hamdan mentioned, after the success of first driverless metro, they are encouraged to add more automation technologies into everyday life. Dubai will continue adopting newest techniques to develop the country and its infrastructure as they believe that’s the key to global competitiveness and prosperity of the country.

AAT is not only a technologically advanced but also an environmentally friendly type of transport. The new vehicles are powered by clean electricity and feature a low level of noise. Currently, AAT is capable of short flights only – the maximum duration is just 30 minutes at a cruise speed of 50 km/h. The maximum speed of the taxi is 100 km/h. These figures will be enhanced in future. The air taxi is approximately two meters high and is about 7 meters in diameter including propellers.

Even though the concept is ready and works fine, visitors of hotels in Dubai still have to wait to enjoy the new entertainment. It will take up to five years to develop the infrastructure for AAT, ensure their safety and security, and even develop laws and government regulations for aircrafts of this type and operation of the AAT. For this purpose, the emirate already hired US-based JDA Aviation Company, a specialist in the safety of autonomous air vehicles, to help with all the necessary preparations and trials.


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