Dubai Tests Flying Taxis

by Megan Hill

Nov 18, 2017

Dubai © Mohamed Kasim Naufal | Dreamstime

Trends / Top Trends

Dubai is known for its high-flying luxury, but a recent test flight of aerial taxis takes that to new heights — literally.

The autonomous taxis are part of the United Arab Emirates’ plan to unleash flying cars and other high-tech transportation options. The taxi completed its first test after hovering almost 700 feet in the air for five minutes.

“An achievement that will build on UAE’s track record as a country that embraces the future,” Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, said in an Instagram post. “We are racing ahead of time and implementing tomorrow’s projects today.”

German drone manufacturer Volocopter made the taxi, which takes two hours to fully charge, fits two people and is guided by GPS. The idea is passengers will order the taxi at designated ports via an app. The environmentally-friendly (and traffic-free) form of transport will be able to move people up to 50 kilometers in the future based on the drone’s maximum flight time of 30 minutes.

The Roads & Transport Authority in Dubai hopes to transform 25 percent of all transport journeys to autonomous vehicles by 2030.

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