February 20, 2017

Hate traffic? Dubai flying drone taxis coming soon

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s–a taxi?

Dubai, known to the rest of the world as a mega city because of its iconic infrastructures and technologically-advanced public services, is going one step further with the introduction of flying taxis.

Drones as flying taxis

According to H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director, the Ehang 184, a Chinese drone first introduced at CES 2016, will roam the skies starting July 2017.

flying taxi drone_internal 1

Image from Portland Press Herald

The Ehang 184 is an electric autonomous pod that can go as far as 50 kilometers at a speed of 100km/hr. It can carry one passenger (and one bag) for a 23-minute ride. The drone needs 2 hours to fully charge.

This is a job for a flying taxi

The question is, how do you hail a flying taxi? Well, they have an app for that.

All you need to do is enter your destination and it maps out the journey for you. Unlike actual 4-wheel taxis, flying taxis have dedicated land spots. Worried about safety? The vehicle is “fail safe” and will land in the nearest place should it get disconnected from the system.

No news yet how much it will cost you to get on a within-city limits flight.

So near yet so far

RTA Dubai is truly taking futuristic concepts and using them to solve some of the city’s biggest problems to date: heavy traffic. When you’re grounded by gridlock, you can now look to the skies for a way out. Hopefully, together with the Hyperloop that can transport you from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes, and the EZ10, a driverless vehicle that RTA Dubai tested in August 2016, the flying taxis will be part of a new breed of transportation systems that can help ease road congestion and make moving around the city easier and better for everyone.