Dubai has conducted its first test of a drone taxi service that it hopes will become a viable transportation system in the city. The drone took off for a five minute flight above the strip of sand on the Gulf Coast. The drone was designed by the German firm named “Volocopter”, in hopes of replacing the taxi services with this innovative solution in no less than five years. It is equipped with an 18 rotor electrically powered drone that can fit up to two people, and includes safety parachutes. The drone was aloft for 5 minutes and flew up to an altitude of 700 feet. Volocopter proved its capacity of flying autonomously and without a passenger. The new machine is designed to fly for 30 minutes, being fully equipped, and including back-up batteries and rotors.

Volocopter currently collaborates with Uber and Airbus, in order to give a boost to the production of flying cars in the next years. Kitty Hawk is another important player in the scenario, being a company funded by Larry Page, also known as the co-founder of Google.

The implementation of the new technology would involve the use of an app on any smartphone, making it possible to order a Volocopter to the next voloport near the client. The Volocopter would be capable of autonomously picking up the passenger and take him to the destination.

Dubai has positioned itself as the smartest city in the world, with ambitions to have the most self-driving vehicles by 2030.

 

Sources:
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41399406

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/drone360/2017/09/26/dubais-flying-taxi-drone-takes-flight/#.Wcu6DmiCzIU

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-emirates-dubai-drones/dubai-starts-tests-in-bid-to-become-first-city-with-flying-taxis-idUSKCN1C0232

https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/26/dubai-volocopter-passenger-drone-test/

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/02/17/this-is-dubais-new-flying-taxi.html