Maharashtra will soon become the first state in India to get drone Taxi’s, the state government has approved the centres’ plans for a drone taxi service for Mumbai albeit with a few additional ground rules. According to a report on the Hindu, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation made a presentation to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in August advising on the drone taxi policy and asked in return for the state government to submit a report.
In response, the state government has asked that more space is given on their view on the policy, asking for details with respect to height, high-rises and charging stations for these battery-operated aircrafts. Approving all other aspects including passenger, cargo and medical of the drone service. This policy that was put out by the Central government under advisement from Uber will govern the operation of drone taxi’s in the country. The government hopes that these drones will help to solve traffic problems in clogged cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi. An announcement of this enterprise was made by uber earlier this year that shortlisted Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru as some of the most congested cities in the world, where travelling short distances could mean a matter of hours. The company went on to upsell their Uber Air offering saying that it will go over the congestion instead of adding to it. At the time, Uber had even released a list of cities that could potentially become the flag-bearer Uber Air cities of which Mumbai has been selected for India. This means the inclusion of a new Development Plan that permits helicopter landing pads atop high-rises.
According to the newly created Development Plan 2034, any building that breaches the 200 m mark in height would be allowed a helipad or landing facility as found fit by planners. The even smaller building will be allowed to accommodate the smaller 2 seater drones.
This comes as part of the Uber Elevate program that was launched in October 2016, as part of its long-term plan to better urban mobility in crowded cities. According to uber’s requirements, the drone should have a 300kmph cruising speed and should be capable of at least 100 kms on a single charge.