We heard recent reports of a Dutch company bringing the flying car concept to the real world with the beginning of sales of the PAL-V Liberty. However, now Dubai, which has a reputation of going big on everything, has plans of launching taxis that are A – flying cars and B – they are autonomous. The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) recently made this announcement, which will be yet another world's first for the city. The RTA collaborated with a Chinese firm Ehang, and carried out a test run of the autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) christened the 'Ehang 184'. It can carry one person at a time. The authority has also assured that the flying taxi operations will begin soon.
The car was first showcased at the World Government Summit in Dubai earlier this week, and the chief of the transport authority has suggested the flying taxi service would start by summer this year.
The taxi comes equipped with a touchscreen for the passengers wherein they can pick their destination. It also has preset routes and as the passenger selects their destination, the vehicle will begin automatic operation. It will take off, cruise to the destination and land on a specified spot. There will also be a ground control centre from where the taxis will be monitored.
The Ehang184 is capable of doing a maximum of 60 kmph and uses a 17 kwh battery. It can remain airborne for a total of 25 minutes.