Dubai tests first driverless taxi

Watch: Dubai conducts first test flight of self-flying taxi

Commenting on the event, Al Tayer said, "The trial run of the AAT reflects the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the world's smartest city". CEO Florian Reuter informed that the flying taxis would be launched within the next five years.

During the test flight the two-seater, 18 rotor drone was unmanned.it took off for a 5-minute flight above a strip of sand on the gulf coast.The flight was watched by Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.

Users will be able to summon the pilotless craft akin to an Uber app and will transport passengers across the city.

Dubai's plans to operate a fleet of self-flying drone taxis have taken off after the first public demonstration of the vehicle's test flight was adjudged a success.

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority announced the flying drones at the 2017 World Government Summit in February. The app will allow customers to book flights, receive booking reference details and track the route of the flying taxi.

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It also gave the first real look inside the two-metre-wide, two-seat air taxi to reveal a fairly intimate cabin and a dash unit displaying flight data. The vehicle is meant to fly autonomously for up to 30 minutes, making it ideal for short-distance urban travel.

The AAT, expected to be put into use in the fourth quarter, is powered by electricity and is highly safe.

Over the next five years, the RTA will work with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to develop laws, operational guidelines and to define specifications and standards applicable to operators before the commercial trips.

Volocopter, a German firm, was awarded the contract to create Dubai's flying taxis after it launched the first helicopter powered exclusively by electricity in 2011. The flying vehicles will have predetermined routes, as well as take-off and landing points. "We are constantly exploring opportunities to serve the community and advance the prosperity and happiness of society", he added. It is also part of the RTA's efforts to introduce autonomous transportation services after conducting rigorous tests for these vehicles in Dubai's climatic conditions.

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