Future of transport in Dubai: Welcome the drone taxi


Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on February 13, 2017, announced that it tested a self-controlled drone that is capable of carrying a passenger above the city’s infamous traffic jams.

According to report gathered, the RTA held the demonstration at a three-day summit of leaders called the World Government Summit.

RTA officials told journalists that, the hope is to have the autonomous taxis operational in the United Arab Emirates by mid-year.

This remote-controlled, single seat, electric drones can carry a passenger weighing up to 100kg within a 50km range. It can fly for 30 minutes at a speed of 160km per hour before the need to recharge again. All the passenger needs to do is to select a destination from a map on a touch screen in front of the seat and the drone flies there while the passenger enjoys the scenery of Dubai skies.

The drone’s takeoff, flight, and landing are monitored by a ground control center.

The Ehang 184 drone was specially designed by the Chinese drone manufacturer Ehang to withstand extreme temperatures like Dubai’s punishing summer days and cold nights.

RTA head Matta Al-Tayer said, ‘The autonomous vehicle exhibited at the World Government Summit is not just a model. We have already experimented (with) the vehicle in a flight in (the) Dubai sky.’

Al-Tayer explained that, RTA was making every effort to start the operation of the autonomous aerial vehicle in July 2017 to help reduce the traffic congestion.

Once a sleepy fishtown, Dubai has evolved in a regional business hub and a tourist magnet, owing to huge investments in luxury resorts and shopping malls. Now, it is at the forefront of experimental transportation to save its population the stress and money that come with conventional transportation like automobiles due to traffic jams and fuel consumption.

Dubai has a population of 2.5 million people, most of which are expatriates. By 2030, the government of Dubai is hoping to have self-controlled cars making up a quarter of their traffic.

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