Indeed, while Uber, Airbus, and others are still talking about creating test vehicles that in some cases would begin to transport goods first, the Director of the Dubai Highway and Transportation Agency announced at the World Government Summit which is being held in the city, they are going to start providing this new passenger service from July this year, albeit not self-developed. They will do so using an unmanned, single-seater, electric giant drone from drone-maker EHang – a China-based manufacturer – to transport people through the air.
In July, Dubai will unveil the first unmanned aircraft capable of transporting a passenger for 30 minutes through the city at a speed of up to 160 kilometers per hour, which can withstand Vibrations and extreme temperatures.
The autonomous aerial vehicle drone is an eHang 184 model that’s developed by a Chinese manufacturer. It is an all-electric aircraft and has successfully undergone flight testing.
The aircraft is equipped with a touch screen in front of the passenger seat that shows a map of destinations with pre-established routes. All the passenger has to do is select where they want to go and the drone is air-bound.
A ground control center will monitor and control the entire flight, which will have a maximum duration of 30 minutes at a standard speed of 100 km / hr, although, the airplane can reach 160 km / hr.
The eHang 184 is single-seater, has eight propellers placed in each pair at each of its corners and is equipped with numerous basic systems that independently operate at the same time. It is being manufactured to the highest levels of safety.
If one propeller fails, the remaining seven can help complete the flight and land smoothly said Mattar Al Tayer, general manager of the RTA, and stated that in case of any failure in any of the systems, “the waiting device would control and would safely lead the plane to the landing.”
This transport will help Dubai reach its goals of one out of every four trips being driven without a driver by 2030. “This aircraft is a real version we have already experienced in Dubai sky and the RTA is doing everything it can to start operation In July 2017, “said Al Tayer.
The RTA specified in a report that the aircraft is 3.9 meters long, 4.02 meters wide and 1.60 meters high has a weight of 250 kilograms, can take off at speeds of 6 meters per second and land at 4 meters per second.
It travels to a maximum height of three thousand feet and can operate in all weather conditions, except thunderstorms.
The videos of the eHang 184 show untested test flights, but they do not provide evidence that it has led people. (In response to questions, the company wrote in an email that “Many details about eHang 184 have not yet been released”). We hope to hear more about, but for now we are among the skeptics.
The uplifting news is that an online registration scheme for drone buyers has already been rolled out. Before the end of May, an agreement with the Dubai Economic Department has made registration by Dubai-based retail stores compulsory. They have already started implemented compulsory registration of privately-used drones to ensure safety zones.