Posted on February 22, 2017
AAVS SKY-HIGH IN DUBAI IN SUMMER 2017
Want to hail a heli-cab to your next business meeting or lunch date? For now, you’ll have to schedule that meet-up in Dubai, where Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (AAVs) are set to soar in July 2017. Known for their hearty embrace of all things tech, the powers that be who oversee transport in the UAE are determined to see 25% of all journeys become driverless by 2030. That goal will cover trains, planes and automobiles, as well as marine vehicles and buses. The Dubai Metro already moves upwards of 600,000 riders a day on the world’s longest driverless transit train system, and now the emirate's competitive spirit is ready for take-off yet again with the Ehang 184 aerial drone taxi.
The eight-propeller AAV designed by Chinese tech gurus Ehang allows one passenger of 220 pounds or less (and one small suitcase) to make a 30-minute sky-jaunt to a pre-programmed destination. The entire point-to-point journey is overseen by control centers operated by Ehang, much like a taxi dispatch office—one with high-end technology running the show. Think Uber, only with a fleet of heli-cabs controlled at ground level. A single battery charge allows for an eco-friendly trip of 30-40 miles, and, should components malfunction or fail to connect, the drone is programmed for a swift fail-safe landing. With over 200 crash-free test flights under its belt, the Ehang 184 is poised to become a very popular mode of transport for short-haul travelers keen to beat that traditional highway traffic down below. Sounds pretty good, huh GTA drivers?