The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has no problem of money and this makes it a best testing place for ambitious place. The Roads & Transportation Agency (RTA) will be introducing a passenger-carrying drone service or a flying taxi in July 2017.
The RTA confirmed the flying taxi service recently during a press conference in Dubai. The flying taxi even underwent the first test run recently. The vehicle used for this purpose is the Ehang 184, an Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) designed by a Chinese company.
If ever you have come across the AAV, that exactly will be the 2016 edition of the CES.
The Chinese drone has been dubbed by its maker as being “the safest, smartest and [most] eco-friendly low altitude autonomous aerial vehicle.” It also provides transportation solutions for distances of 40 to 50 kilometers. According to RTA’s etimates its maximum operational time is 30 minutes, thanks to a 17 kWh battery which gets charged up in four hours from a 50-amp socket.
The 184 AAV can cruise at an average speed of 60 km/h (37.2 mph), at a maximum designated flight height of 3,500 meters above sea level. Eight electric motors, two at each corners stacked above each other provide thrust and lift. The maximum output reaches 152 kW or 207 PS (204 bhp).
The total weight of the aircraft is 240 kilograms (529 pounds), while payload is rated at 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and a small-sided suitcase. Once the passenger buckles up into the racecar-style seat, he is required to select a destination on the touchscreen pad in front of him, and that’s it.
Though an autonomous machine, the Ehang 184 is being monitored by a command center due to safety reasons.
In case of some mishappening, for example if the vehicle’s electric motors go offline among the worst case, it can still operate a normal flight plan.
In case of bigger issues, the drone will be commanded by the electronic brain of the 184 and it will immediately land in the nearest area. The Ehang 184 is also equipped with air conditioning.