Dubai is experimenting with passenger drone taxis!
Can you imagine a world where drone taxis are the norm, transporting people to and from work and to various other locations?
The race is on for creating the first people-carrying sky taxi.
Competition is high as Dubai is on a mission to place drone taxis into the sky before anyone else.
Back in March it was announced that an agreement was signed between Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) and Ericsson, whereby Ericsson will provide an innovative Regulatory Monitoring System to transform and regulate the future of public transportation in Dubai.
Chinese Drone company EHang and Dubai’s RTA also announced a partnership.
As ground traffic continues to become congested, new opportunities arise to move transportation to the air. There are companies focusing on using electric momentum with the main benefits being a greener and quieter method of transport.
Uber is working on their air transportation project ‘Elevate’ with Mark Moore (Nasa chief technologist).
How many passengers will they hold?
The EHang 184 has space for one passenger, although others like the Volocopter and City Airbus are looking at multiple passengers.
Speed and battery life
EHang’s video states a maximum speed of 100km/h (60mph) and 23 minutes flight time. The main obstacle for manufacturers who want the capability of longer flight times is the battery life.
It’s really unlikely that a drone taxi would run out of battery during a flight as once battery levels reach a certain point, the drone would make an emergency landing.
A crucial element is managing the airspace and preventing collisions.
Most key cities already have air passageways in place for helicopters. Perhaps air taxis may be able to use these, but requesting to enter this air space is currently a process which is done manually.
EHang’s 184 AAV has been designed so it can still operate a normal flight plan and maintain the safety of the passenger together with the vehicle, in such circumstance one set of the power system function abnormal.
It seems like it’s only a matter of time before passenger drone taxis are taking to the skies and hovering around above us. Although factors such as noise pollution and trust from the public may be a concern to begin with.
What’s your view on passenger drones? Would you feel safe travelling in one? Comment below, we’d love to hear your feedback!