August 2017

Is This the Future of Taxis?

Source: Khaleej Times

Could the autonomous aerial taxi (AAT) soon take over the skies of Dubai? RTA’s flying taxies, first unveiled at the World Government Summit in Dubai in February 2016, are one step closer to reality, according to a recent photo-series released by the Dubai Media Office.

The collection of images, released to coincide with the first test-flights of the aerial autonomous taxi gives the world a glimpse of the envision the future for transit in Dubai.

Roads and Transit Authority has issued test flights that are required to meet a full range of safety and security requirements for this new type of vehicle. "The trial operation of this (flying) taxi will begin gradually in the fourth quarter of 2017.” said a spokesperson from RTA.

This flying taxi is intended for two passengers and is fitted with leather seating and state of the art luxurious interiors. It measures two meters high and seven meters wide. The AAT is fully electric, and is powered by nine independently housed, quick change, and rechargeable batteries. The batteries provide 30 minutes of flying time and take 40 minutes to fully recharge when plugged in. The AAT is equipped with 18 rotors that provide safety during the cruising phase and the critical take off and landing phases. Further safety precautions include a full-aircraft emergency parachute which is deployed in case of emergency or failure of any one of the 18 rotors. Average cruising speed for the flying taxi is 50kmph which the maximum airspeed is 100kmph.

RTA has also signed an agreement with the German Volocopter Company, who specialize in the engineering and production of autonomous aerial vehicles, to partner-up on the launch of the envisioned two seater taxi for Dubai.

Projects like the AAT and other autonomous vehicles are helping pave the way for Dubai to become a fully realized smart city of the future with 25% autonomous transportation by 2030

Khaleej Times