Dubai is planning to start transporting passengers in hover-taxis within the next months, becoming the first country in the world to do it. Officials from the country’s transport authority just announced that they plan to be transporting passengers by July of this year. The passengers will be transported at an altitude of about 300 meters, and at speeds of up to 100 km/h.
The vehicle that will be used to accomplish this feature, named EHang 184, makes use of two of the greatest advancements in transportation in the last years, namely, hovering and self-driving technology. The concept is simple, when the passengers get in the vehicle, they will be required to enter their destination, and then the hover-taxi will self-drive them there.
The vehicle, built by the Chinese manufacturer EHang, has been under development since 2013. Although we saw many flying and hover car concepts come and go the last years, seems like this one is here to stay.
This isn’t the first big investment in transportation in Dubai in the recent times, since a while ago, the country signed with the US-based Musk company, Hyperloop One, to study if it’s viable to construct a link of hyperloop train from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. They also announced plans to have at least a quarter of their transport, as self-driving vehicles by 2030, and signed on to purchase 200 Tesla self-driving taxis.
The EHang 184, according to reports, is a small quadcopter drone, with eight propellers, and carry in passenger at a time, it’s about 1.5 meters tall, weighs about 200kg, and can be fully recharged in 2 hours. The drone, has a built-in fail-safe system that will automatically land the vehicle if it detects any damaged component or malfunction.
Beneath you can see a footage of the EHang 184 on the CES back in June 2016.