Dubai starts testing flying taxis for passengers

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Dubai has been a hotspot for companies like Nokia and Uber to test their unmanned aerial vehicles and air traffic management systems. Even Dubai’s own police force has been tinkering with how to best implement drones into law enforcement, together with Singapore company OTSAW.

Of course, that’s a pretty short trip, but a company testing its flying taxi service, successfully, with actual royalty from the region, is a substantial step forward in actually pulling this flying taxi service closer to reality. he automated electric drone takes off and lands like your standard consumer drone: vertically, like a helicopter would. This, of course, allows it to land in tight spaces, as opposed to requiring a runway. The goal is to provide 30-minute flights in Dubai, and securing one as easily as somebody hails a cab.

“After the remarkable success of the first driverless metro in the region, we are glad to witness today the test flight of the Autonomous Air Taxi,” said the Crown Prince. “This is another testament to our commitment to driving positive change. We are constantly exploring opportunities to serve the community and advance the prosperity and happiness of society.”

the current model is capable of flying based on GPS tracks, and that the company aims to “implement full sense capability” moving forward. This would allow for sophisticated obstacle avoidance and anti-collision measures to be in place, further strengthening the argument for safety.

Of course, we’re still in the early stages of full implementation here. Monday seems to have been a great photo-op and a ringing endorsement by a local authority, as well as some reassuring evidence that this thing actually works, in the form of a short test flight. But there’s still a ways to go here, and we’ll just have to keep dreaming for now. Who knows, the next time you visit Dubai, you might be able to take an aerial cab to the mall.

 

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