Dubai to launch aerial taxis

By , on February 17, 2017

The EHang 184 at the Consumer Electronics Show, 2017 (Photo:  Ben Smith/
The EHang 184 at the Consumer Electronics Show, 2017 (Photo: Ben Smith/

Dubai’s Roads and Transit Authority (RTA) teamed up with Chinese company EHANG to launch a test drive of the very first Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV), the Ehang 184.

EHang is a Chinese company that specializes in aerial cinematography, photography and survey missions. The Ehang 184 debuted in this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas after having 100 successful manned flights.

The Ehang 184 includes a touchscreen control panel where the passenger will enter the desired destination through an application. The application also includes preset routes where the passenger can choose the desired destination.

Everything is automatic from start up, take off, navigation and landing while operations are to be controlled by a ground control center with the use of a 4G data network for communication.

It can accommodate one passenger and a payload capacity of 264 pounds and fly for 30 minutes on a full charge with a maximum speed of 160 kmph and a maximum cruising height of 3000 ft.

The battery charging time ranges from 1-2 hours and it can operate in most climactic situations excluding thunderstorms. It has eight propellers, each to operate if one fails. It is also equipped with an emergency landing feature where the ground control center will be notified immediately.

According to Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA Mattar Al Tayer, it is indeed the aim of the UAE Government to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world.

Through the project, it aims to transform Dubai’s Transportation Scheme by transforming 25% of the trips to the city done by self-transportation and also to provide more variety of methods to do so by 2030. For now, this the RTA’s answer to reduce traffic congestion in Dubai.

Operation of these Aerial Vehicles are going to be launched in July 2017.