An autonomous unmanned drone taxi successfully flew its first test flight in Dubai on Monday. The drone taxi was witnessed by the Crown Prince of Dubai, and it flew at an altitude of about 656 feet for around five minutes, according to Reuters. The Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) is designed by a German based company, and it’s called a Volocopter. Monday’s flight marked the first successful test for drone taxis in Dubai, but more rigorous tests are scheduled to be conducted for five more years. A YouTube video from Esquire Middle East shows the Volocopter’s recent flight:
Drone Taxis in Dubai
Drone taxis will be tested to meet Dubai’s operational requirements. Developing aerial routes and designing take-off and landing areas are also being planned. Dubai’s RTA has teamed with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to help develop laws and policies for drone taxis to become a reality.
Drone Taxis via App
An app will also be created to help customers book flights and receive details regarding their next AAT pickup.
The Volocopter is designed to fly as an environment-friendly vehicle without a pilot. The drone taxi lifts off the ground like a helicopter, and it has an estimated flight time of 30 minutes. The two passenger vehicle is powered by clean electricity, which also helps reduce noise and emission levels. The German-engineered vehicle can fly as fast as 62.14 mph, but its cruise speed maxes out at half that speed. The Volocopter that was flown in Dubai is still a prototype model, so its best version will be worked on while the AAT is being tested for the next five years.
The Volocopter was chosen in Dubai’s test run because it is equipped with numerous safety features and redundancies. It comes with emergency parachutes and runs on nine independent battery systems. The charge time is rated at two hours, but a faster quick-charge will be implemented on the final version.
The Future of Transportation
Dubai is racing to become the world’s smartest city in terms of technology by implementing future transportation vehicles into their society today.
“Encouraging innovation and adopting the latest technologies contribute not only to the country’s development but also build bridges into the future,” said HH Sheikh Hamdan, the Crown Prince of Dubai.
If the drone taxi becomes standardized in Dubai, then other countries may soon adopt this new form of transportation.