Dubai's Vision in the Sky

Dubai's Plan to Launch a Flying Taxi Fleet Is Certainly Intriguing


Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, The Jetsons. Flying vehicles are old hat in the world of make-believe. But now officials from Dubai's Federal Transport Authority plan to have a passenger-carrying drone buzzing in the skies of its city state by this July. The service will operate using the Chinese-made EHang 184 autonomous electric quadcopter drone, which was first unveiled in Las Vegas at International CES 2016.

The announcement somewhat diminishes the ambitions of Amazon and Alphabet, which are still working on their strategies to deliver packages to people's doors by drone.

The EHang 184 drone has room for one passenger and will be remotely monitored by a ground-based control room. The driverless vehicle has a battery that allows for a maximum 30 minutes of flight time and it can fly about 50 km on a single charge, with a top cruising speed of 160 kph.

After a passenger gets into the drone and buckles up, they select a destination on a map using a touch-screen device. Once selected, the drone will take off on a pre-set route to transport the passenger to the selected destination.

EHang isn't the only company pursuing a drone taxi, though the Dubai deal makes it seem the Guangzhou-based firm is the furthest along. Airbus, for example, plans to have a passenger drone in the air by the end of 2017, although commercial deployment isn't expected until at least 2020. Uber has published a conceptual white paper and hired a former NASA engineer to head up its own flying drone project. It already offers an UberChopper service in Dubai — albeit using a helicopter that comes with a pilot. And Google co-founder Larry Page is said to be experimenting with a super design of his own.

Dubai should certainly be credited with its vision. Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, says he aspires to have a quarter of all passenger journeys in the city to be by various driverless vehicles by 2030. For now, we believe that this immediate drone goal may be more of a curiosity-builder for Dubai. Nevertheless, special credit is due to the first commercial passenger in one of these drones, who will break new ground.

This entry was posted on February 17th, 2017 and is filed under Devices. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Posted By Raghu Gopal On February 17th, 2017


Comments
(There are no comments yet)
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
Google rolls out "India first" products in a bid to attract more of the 800 million Indians not yet online https://t.co/vJET4qWCV1
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @BBCSport: Gotta go, there's something in our eye
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
RT @tim: Confirming @techcrunch's scoop, Apple is indeed close to buying Shazam, in what would be among the largest deals for both Apple an…
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
RT @geoffblaber: 20 hour battery life on Windows 10 Devices with Snapdragon is game changing. Transforms usage and utility. #SnapdragonSumm
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
Not of Beats proportions but Shazam a significant buy for Apple. Still amazed Shazam has remained independent for t… https://t.co/if1K9SwZGB
Follow Geoff
Marina Koytcheva
@EisenTV @CCSInsight Ah! I thought I said "brief success" :)
Follow Marina
Nicholas McQuire
Alright, who’d win? (Note: that’s a Tree Fu Tom watch on Batman & Spidey’s been hittin the gym badass)
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
With the snow falling what a perfect day to watch both #LIVEVE & #MUNMCI live in #UHD #4K #DolbyAtmos #PL on #SkyQ https://t.co/IMJvGW3TSA
Follow Paolo
Kester Mann
@kimfaura Look forward to it!
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
Unexpected VR skiing experience in an igloo in Paddington! #VR https://t.co/avUeC0hFre
Follow George
Laura Simeonova
RT @CCSInsight: Optimization for artificial intelligence defines competitiveness in mobile chipsets in 2019 and beyond #ccspredicts https:/…
Follow Laura
Katie Taylor
RT @guardianscience: Scientists make first ever attempt at gene editing inside the body https://t.co/e8u0BT9a09
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Google Rolls Out the Red Carpet in India Internet Giant Optimizes Products for the Subcontinent Th... Read more
Blog Post
Alexa Dons a Suit Alexa for Business Gives Enterprise a Voice Last week, at... Read more
Blog Post
Fast 3D Printing Designs Could Now Be Printed in Minutes Anyone who has prin... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
CCS Insight Predicts 1 Billion Users of 5G by 2023, with More Than Half in China 5G to take off faster than any previous mobile technology ... Read more
More news