Dubai is rocketing towards a futuristic mode of transport by kicking off trails of the autonomous Volocopter two-seater aircraft. The Volocopter is an 18 motor vehicle which took off to the skies for the first time on Monday over the city. It looks like it is ready to establish itself as the world’s first self-flying taxi service.
The Volocopter has evolved ever since it emerged on the scene since 2013. After a series of successful tests and more recently an investment of US $29 million from Daimler, it has gathered quite a bit of momentum. The Volocopter is designed to autonomously carry two passengers from one location to another without a pilot. The current testing performed with the Volocopter suggest it can fly for 30 mins in a stretch with a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).After the initial announcements for the trails back in June, now it has been rebranded as the Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) for its purposes. The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority hopes the aircraft will play a role in having autonomous vehicles handle a quarter of all passenger journeys in the city by 2030.HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority said –
The Autonomous Air Taxi has a variety of unique features that include top security and safety standards, and multiple redundancies in all critical components such as propellers, motors, power source, electronics and flight controls. It is also fitted with optional emergency parachutes, nine independent battery systems, and a battery quick-charge and plug-in system, which takes two hours to reach full charge in the prototype version, a time that will be significantly reduced in the production version.
The Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, kicked off the autonomous test flight by pressing the launch button and watch on as it beamed back live shots from the sky. The vehicle as it made its maiden flight over Dubai, near Jumeirah Beach Park, no passengers were on board the vehicle.
Besides this, the Crown Prince was also briefed on how the air taxi will integrate with other transport systems and how people will be able to book flights and track its flight paths through the apps on their smartphones.The trial run of Dubai’s Autonomous Air Taxi will take place after five years.
Source: Government of Dubai