February 24, 2017
Dubai, the most populated city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will begin testing flying drones by 2017. These will be taxi drones, that can carry human passengers. The test is part of Dubai’s “Self-driving Transport Strategy,” which requires that, by 2030, self-driving vehicles be used for a quarter of all individual trips taken in the city.
The drone being tested, the Chinese-made Ehang 184, can carry one passenger at a time, who together with luggage, can weigh up to a maximum 220 pounds. The drone will be able to stay in the air for about a half an hour. At an average speed of about 62 miles an hour, that gives it a range of about 31 miles.
If the tests pan out, the implications could be huge for Dubai, which has the world’s deadliest roads. It could also mean a great deal to cities that consistently deal with gridlocked traffic.
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