Science

Chinese-made Flying ‘Hover Taxi’ to Begin Operations in Dubai in July

By | Feb 13, 2017 09:14 PM EST
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Fying soon

Ehang 184 AAV hover taxi in a test flight. (Photo : Ehang)

The world's first "hover taxi," which is made by a Chinese firm, capable of flying autonomously to its destination has been tested in Dubai and should start transporting passengers in July

The Ehang 184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (184 AAV) is a low-altitude, single passenger-carrying quad-copter made by Ehang, a company that made its name as an aerial drone maker based in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province in China.

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It can ferry a single passenger along a programmed course at 100 km/h at an altitude of 300 meters. A passenger only has to select a destination and the 184 AAV will take-off, fly the route and touchdown at the landing site, monitored along the way by a ground control center.

The 184 AAV, which has eight propellers driven by electric motors, can recharge in two hours and make trips of up to 30 minutes. It's designed with full redundancy so that if one power system module fails, the vehicle can still operate a normal flight plan and ensure the safety of the passenger.

It also comes with an embedded fail safe system, which ensures that if any component malfunctions or disconnects, the aircraft will immediately land at the nearest possible area to ensure passenger safety.

Dubai has tested a prototype of the 184 AAV, which it plans to deploy as a "hover taxi" within the city this July.

"The autonomous aerial vehicle exhibited at the World Government Summit is not just a model," said Mattar Mohamed Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai.

"We have already experimented (with) the vehicle in a flight in (the) Dubai sky," he said.

He noted the Roads and Transport Authority was "making every effort to start the operation of the autonomous aerial vehicle in July 2017" to help reduce traffic congestion in the city.

The 184 AAV was first made public at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada as the Ehang 184 MegaDrone. It was marketed as the "world's first self flying commercial taxi car" and its coming to Dubai realizes that ambition.

A video of the 184 AAV can be viewed here.


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