The advent of the flying car is almost here and it’s being brought to us by a drone-maker in China.
For over a year, EHang has been working on an autonomous drone that can transport humans and it seems it is finally ready to take flight as a commercial taxi service in Dubai. First unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January, the prototype EHang 184 has been dubbed the world’s first autonomous aerial vehicle.
The giant drone, specially built to fit one human passenger, will reportedly start ferrying passengers around the city beginning this summer, according to Telegraph UK.
“This is not only a model, we have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies,” said Mattar al-Tayer, head of Dubai’s transportation agency during the World Government Summit held in Dubai on Wednesday. He announced that the service will commence in July.
As it is autonomous, it can fly without human direction on a journey up to 23 minutes, although it runs for 30 minutes on a single charge. It travels a maximum distance of 50 km and can reach a peak altitude of 3.5 km.
Passengers just need to key in their destination via a touchpad and the AAV automatically bring them to the desired location. The AAV is always connected online to the ground command center tasked to constantly monitoring its flight.
The AAV will not be allowed to take-off during extreme weather conditions. In case something goes awry during flight, the EHang 184 will land immediately at the nearest safe location as it is configured to do so.
Who would like to try first?