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Plans for drone taxis (FLYING CARS) in Dubai move forward, launch date announced

(TECH NEWS) An egg-shaped EHang 184 passenger drone is currently being tested throughout the city of Dubai, and launch dates have been announced. Would you take a trip in a drone taxi?

dubai drone taxis

Already tested

While the United States is buzzing about the approach of self-driving Ubers, the United Arab Emirates is already on to the next big thing. Flying taxis.

With successful tests already taking place, Dubai plans to have passenger-carrying drones available by July. The Chinese-made, egg-shaped EHang 184 drone is currently being tested throughout the city of Dubai, learning to navigate the skyline for eventual self-driving trips with passengers.

Away we go

The plans were announced by Mattar al-Tayer, the head of Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency, at the World Government Summit. “This is not only a model,” al-Tayer said. “We have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies.”

The drone is able to carry a passenger up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms) and a small suitcase or bag. That passenger will then select a destination on a tablet and be flown by the self-driving machine in a race-car style seat.

The drone has preset routes, more like a subway than a taxi, with the option to select from several destinations that appear on a map in the form of dots.

The drones are battery operated and will be able to fly for about 30-minutes at speeds of around 60 miles per hour.

Still some mystery

Al-Tayer did not elaborate on the exact specifics of the introduction of the flying taxi’s to Dubai’s skylines and EHang has not offered comments on the project either. The lack of detail suggests this may be a fantasy first, then a reality, but Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, previously announced that he hopes 25% of all passenger trips will be driverless by 2030. Partnerships with other futuristic technology companies, including Hyperloop One, have also been announced, suggesting Dubai’s desire to be a leader in new transportation options.

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[clickToTweet tweet=”Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum hopes 25% of passenger trips will be driverless by 2030.” quote=”Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai hopes 25% of all passenger trips will be driverless by 2030.”]

Initial reports of the drones suggest they will be monitored from the ground and controlled with 4G mobile internet. The Road and Transportation Agency has also issued a statement saying the drone had been examined by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority for safety regulations.

If the plan moves along as scheduled, the drones may be in action this summer. ‘Til then, residents of Dubai will have to sit in traffic on the ground like everyone else.


Written By

Brian is a staff writer at The American Genius who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and majored in American Culture Studies and Writing. Originally from California, Brian has a podcast, "Revolves Around Me," and enjoys public transportation, bicycles, the beach.



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