Autonomous passenger drones to take off in Dubai by July
Apart from mind-blowing architectural wonders and wallet-emptying bazaars, Dubai is looking to add another wonder to its ever growing portfolio of attractions. By July, passenger drones are expected to zip through the skies of the Middle Eastern city.
The plan was announced at the World Government Summit by the chairman and executive director of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, Mattar al-Tayer, reports The Next Web.
While no other details regarding the drones themselves or a fleet was revealed, it has been confirmed that the passenger drones are part of Dubai’s plan to facilitate at least a quarter of journeys within the Emirate, using autonomous vehicles by 2030.
If the drone would look familiar, it is because the RTA will be utilizing the Chinese-made Ehang 184, unveiled at last year’s CES. It has a range of about 30 miles per full charge and a capacity of one person weighing up to 220 pounds (roughly 100 kilograms), plus a small suitcase. Much like a regular drone has a controller, the flight of the passenger drones will be managed by a command center. All that needs to be done is to hop in and choose from a list of predetermined destinations where the drone can land.
The United States already made arrangements to have the Ehang 184 fly over Nevada for test flights last year, but it will not be ferrying passengers until the Federal Aviation Authority gives the go.
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For those who can’t wait to experience the future of commuting, head on over to Dubai by July and take the first flight aboard the shiny new passenger drone of the 21st century. Alfred Bayle/JB