Unveiled: Dubai’s New Flying Taxis

Published August 9th, 2017 - 06:46 GMT
The autonomous air taxi. (video/KhaleejTimes)
The autonomous air taxi. (video/KhaleejTimes)

The trial operation of a two-passenger autonomous aerial taxi (AAT) or flying taxi in Dubai is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The Dubai Media Office on Wednesday tweeted a series of photos of AAT, giving an idea how the vehicles would look like.

The flying taxi, measuring about two metres in height and seven-metres in width, is electric-powered, run by nine independent quick-change and plug-in battery systems. It can cruise at a speed of 50kmph with the maximum airspeed set at 100kmph.

The maximum flight time is approximately 30 minutes; while battery charging will take 40 minutes. It also has 18 rotors to ensure safe cruising and landing of the taxi in case of any rotor failure and it is fitted with a full aircraft emergency parachute.

It also boasts of luxurious interiors and leather seating for two persons.

"The RTA has extended the test run of its manned AAT to meet all operational requirements of safety and security for these type of vehicles," a statement from the RTA said in June this year.

"The trial operation of this (flying) taxi will begin gradually in the fourth quarter of 2017."

The RTA had also announced signing of an agreement with the German Volocopter Company, a specialist in the manufacturing of autonomous aerial vehicles, to launch the first vehicle capable of carrying two passengers.


Specifications of the flying taxi 

> Multiple redundancy in all critical components such as propellers, motors, power source, electronics and flight controls.

 > Fitted with a full aircraft emergency parachute, nine independent battery systems, battery quick-change and plug-in system, and fast battery charging time of 40 minutes.

>Luxurious interiors and leather seating for two persons.

>Environment-friendly as it is powered by clean electricity, has very low noise.

>Maximum flight time is approximately 30 minutes at a cruise speed of 50 km/h, and a maximum airspeed of 100 km/h.

> Measures about two meters in height, and the diameter of the rotor rim including propellers is about seven meters.


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