Flying taxis in Dubai are expected to begin trials this year, Gulf Business reported.
Images released by the German company Volocopter and shared by the Dubai Media Office on Tuesday showed the autonomous air taxi's design and luxurious interior.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) which teamed up with Volocopter confirmed that trials of the autonomous air taxis would ‘gradually’ begin in the fourth quarter of 2017, Gulf Business reported.
Measuring about two metres in height, the diameter of the vehicle’s rotor rim including propellers is about seven metres and will operate by clean electricity.
It has a maximum flight time of approximately 30 minutes at a cruise speed of 50 km/h, and a maximum airspeed of 100 km/h.
The RTA confirmed that testing is likely to continue after this year, which will be followed by the issuance of legislations required to operate the vehicles for about five years.
“The RTA is working with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to develop the legislative and operational guidelines, define specifications and standards applicable to operators in the emirate such that these legislations will be ready before the date set for the commercial and official operation of the autonomous air vehicles,” said Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of RTA.
“The operational and legislative structures will be the first of their kind worldwide. In coordination with its strategic partners in the emirate, RTA will specify the air routes of journeys, take-off and landing points of these taxis as well as the logistics needed to ensure safe and smooth mobility of passengers.”
The introduction of the air taxis is part of Dubai’s smart autonomous mobility strategy, which aims to transform a quarter of the total mobility journeys in the emirate into autonomous transport by 2030.