Dubai officials have unveiled their plans to launch a new autonomous drone passenger craft in July, this year.
Mattar al-Tayer, the head of Dubai’s road and transportation agency said that the EHang 184 drone- which is originally from China- has already made its debut flying over the Burj al-Arab skyscraper hotel, but the transport will one day be more than a novelty.
The drone was introduced at CES 2016 and tested in Nevada. It uses a four - rotor design and is capable of transporting 100 kg or an individual person and limited luggage.
Since the aerial vehicle is autonomous, the passengers only have to input their destination on the drone’s touchscreen and fasten the seat belt before it takes-off. The drone can fly for 23 minutes at sea level or 10 minutes at up to 62 miles an hour if higher altitudes are needed, such as the need to avoid skyscrapers.
The drone’s top speed is 100 mph and the autonomous vehicle can operate in an area of up to 50km.
One wonders whether the four-legged, egg-shaped drone could one day become an alternative to congested roads in the region, but Dubai's investment into futuristic technologies does indicate this may one day be the case.
The country already has a driverless rail service used by millions of passengers, and so the switch to autonomous cars and one day, drones, may not be too much of an arduous task, especially in the United Arab Emirates.
Information source: zdnet