Dubai’s flying taxis are a major step closer to completion, after a flight of the design’s prototype was hailed a success.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, attended the test flight of the Volocopter, the world’s first self-flying taxi being developed by a German company of the same name.
The Autonomous Air Taxi is an environmentally friendly form of transport, in keeping with Dubai’s Green Mobility Initiative, which recently announced huge savings and benefits to owners of electric vehicles.
By hopping into one of the AATs, you’ll be able to embark on a journey of up to 50km – based on the maximum flight time of 30 minutes with an airspeed of up to 100 kph.
There are plans afoot for a huge increase in the percentage of self-driving vehicles (both road and air), with the RTA planning to transform 25 percent of all transport journeys in Dubai to autonomous by 2030.
This latest video from Dubai Media Office shows brilliant progress being made with the AAT, and more work is being done behind the scenes to make the dream a reality. It’s not just about the technology and physical act of moving people from one place to another – the legal, regulatory and infrastructural side are also being addressed. While that’s not exactly the most exciting part of the project, it’s absolutely essential to making any form of mass public transport with self-driving vehicles even remotely possible.
Uber is also working on such plans, and has already stated that an estimated cost of US$1.32 (Dhs4.85) per passenger mile will be the standard, which is pretty much the same as UberX costs.