Dubai is getting one step closer to officially launching its flying taxi service to the wider public and it's an important step for futurists and technology enthusiasts.
Yesterday, Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, attended the first test flight of the Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT), which took place near the Jumeirah Beach Park in Dubai.
The sky taxi, supplied by Volocopter, a Germany-based specialist manufacturer of autonomous air vehicles, is designed to transport people without human intervention or a pilot on board.
Some of the features of the vehicle include environmentally-friendly construction, low noise levels, and clean electricity usage.
"Dubai has completed a test flight of the world’s first pilotless flying taxi in the city as part of ambitious transport plan"
At present, the prototype can carry two people, has a maximum flight time of approximately 30 minutes, and a maximum airspeed of 100 km/h.
The flying taxi service, introduced by Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA), will be integrated with public transport systems including the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, public buses, marine transit modes and taxis.
The plans also include the launch of a smartphone app to allow easy access to the service for potential users. On the app, users will be able to book flights, track the journey on their mobile phones, and receive booking reference details.
“This is a something that has never been done before. We are so happy that this happened in Dubai. From a Dubai Civil Aviation Authority perspective, this proof-of-concept flight makes history and we are proud to be a support entity,” Michael Rudolph, Head of Aviation Regulations and Safety at Dubai Civil Aviation Authority told Gulf News.
A drone that can carry people will begin regular operations in Dubai after the certification process is completed, which is a projected to be within the next 5 years.
Dubai has set itself a target for autonomous transport to account for a quarter of total trips taken by 2030.