A growing number of companies are looking at the viability of airborne, autonomous taxis as a way to ease urban congestion and transportation, but the city of Dubai could leapfrog those with a plan to deploy a passenger-carrying drone, The Ehang 184, as early as this summer. Uber and other transportation companies are still talking about creating test vehicles that would begin transporting cargo first.
These four-legged, eight-propeller drones can carry a single passenger that weighs up to 100 kg (220 lb) and operate within an area of up to 50 km (31 miles) on a single battery charge, according to a video the RTA released on Monday. It can reach speeds of 160 km an hour and someone will remotely monitor it from a control room on the ground.
The video shows a businessman placing a briefcase in the craft’s tiny trunk and strapping himself into the single seat with a race-car-like a seat-belt. Then, he types his destination into a touch screen.
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