You could soon be saying goodbye to standard taxis that only drive on the road. Why? Because Dubai has made aviation history testing its new two-seater, flying taxis.
The Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) flew for five minutes at approximately 650 feet earlier this week, the first tests carried out by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA).
Resembling a helicopter with a drone’s rotors attached at the top, the taxi, set to be introduced by Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA), will be used to shuttle passengers across the city without a pilot.
In a statement, Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said: “This is another testament to our commitment to driving positive change. We are constantly exploring opportunities to serve the community and advance the prosperity and happiness of society.”
The ultimate goal for the air taxi is a 30-minute trip with people inside, and safety is a big priority, with Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General of the RTA, saying in a statement that the AAT “has a variety of unique features that include top security and safety standards, and multiple redundancies in all critical components…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.”
We can’t wait to try it – can you?