It’s not quite a case of Futurama or The Jetsons with flying cars everywhere but Dubai is keen to introduce flying taxis within five years.
SBS News reported that Dubai staged a test flight for what it said would soon be the world’s first drone taxi service under an ambitious plan by the United Arab Emirates city to lead the Arab world in innovation.
The flying taxi developed by German drone firm Volocopter resembles a small, two-seater helicopter cabin topped by a wide hoop studded with 18 propellers.
It was unmanned for its maiden test run in a ceremony arranged for Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.
Meant to fly without remote control guidance and with a maximum flight duration of 30 minutes, it comes with plenty of fail-safes in case of trouble: back-up batteries, rotors and, for a worst case scenario, a couple of parachutes.
Volocopter is in a race with more than a dozen well-funded European and US firms, each with its own science fiction-inspired vision for creating a new form of urban transport that is a cross between a driverless electric car and a short-haul, vertical takeoff-and-landing aircraft.
These include aerospace giant Airbus, which aims to put a self-piloting taxi in the air by 2020; Kitty Hawk, a company backed by Google co-founder Larry Page; and Uber, which is working with partners on its own flying taxi strategy.
“Implementation would see you using your smartphone, having an app, and ordering a Volocopter to the next voloport near you. The volocopter would come and autonomously pick you up and take you to your destination,” CEO Florian Reuter said.
“It already is capable of flying based on GPS tracks today, and we will implement full sense capability, also dealing with unknown obstacles on the way,” he added, saying developers aimed to initiate the taxis within five years.
In Monday’s test flight, the device hovered upward about 200 metres and whirred for about five minutes over a windswept patch of sand astride the emirate’s Gulf coast.
BREAKING: Delta North APC Chairman Dumps Party For PDP
Okowa Needs To Enforce Open Grazing Ban Now — Orhomonokpaye
NGC Commissions Civic, Health Centers In Edo Communities
Ukwuani LGA Gets New SLG
The Hypocrisies And Pretentiousness Of A Supposedly Righteous Governor: Ifeanyi Okowa In View
Augoye Urges Mgt, Staff Of Delta Ministry Of Works To Cooperate With New Commissioner, Applauds Okowa
Bagudu, Fayemi, Others Seek Tenure Extension For APC Caretaker C’ttee
2023: I Am Disappointed With Okowa Over Statement On PDP Zoning Arrangement –Nwaoboshi
Ejele Spits Fire, Says Process That Picked Prince Tsola Emiko As Olu Of Warri-designate Is Illegal, Backs Ayiri
BREAKING: Fear Grips Delta, As ‘Fulani’ Group Writes Okowa, Threatens To Attack State Capital, Agbor
JUST IN: Prophet T.B. Joshua Dies At 57
BREAKING: Popular Pastor, Rev Akinola Is Dead…See List/Photos Of Clerics Who Have Gone To Be With The Lord Within 6 Months
EXCLUSIVE: Okumagba To Chair NDDC Board As MD Goes To Bayelsa
Asaba Specialist Hospital: Okpanam Indigene Writes Open Letter To Okowa, Faults Naming, Says They Own The Land
Politics18 hours ago
DC-23 Chairman Plays Dirty, Ejects Nephew From Apartment In Mosogar For Attending Pro-PDP Group Meeting
Politics20 hours ago
Nwaoboshi Reacts to His Suspension From PDP, Says It’s A Laughing Matter
Crime18 hours ago
Fake Ponzi Scheme Operator Jailed Seven Years In Rivers
Politics23 hours ago
BREAKING: Delta PDP Suspends Nwaoboshi, Says He Is Guilty Of Anti-Party Activities
Politics20 hours ago
BREAKING: Charles Soludo Grabs APGA Guber Ticket In Anambra