Once again keen followers of urban mobility solutions are looking at Dubai for its exciting latest development. The gulf state plans to handle 25 percent of all of its passenger travel using autonomous transportation by 2030 and this week news arrived that Dubai is to test an autonomous (pilotless) air taxi. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will begin trial operation of the air taxi in the fourth quarter of this year. In partnership with German tech specialist Volocopter the RTA will be testing the Autonomous Air Taxi – a two-seater aircraft capable of zipping along at 100 km/h.
“The test will start in the fourth quarter of 2017, and the project has been scheduled to run for five years. We are very grateful and proud that the RTA has selected us as their partner after rigorous testing,” said Alexander Zosel, co-founder of Volocopter.
Volocopter which is based in the technology region Karlsruhe, established its place in aviation history in 2011 with the first manned flight of an electric multicopter. The introduction of its latest model, Volocopter 2X, has made the company a global leader when it comes to safety and autonomous flying.
Eighteen rotors, fully redundant power trains and an intelligent autonomous control system offer maximum reliability all stamped with “made in Germany”. Now, this technology will experience further testing in Dubai under extreme climatic conditions. “We see Dubai as the pioneer for a huge evolving market,” adds Zosel, who is convinced that many other metropolitan areas will follow.
Volocopter sees its vision of urban air taxis confirmed. For years, the company has developed not only the technology for quiet, safe and emission-free flying, but it is also a pioneer when it comes to close cooperation with aviation authorities and the definition of standards for infrastructure and reliable operation.
“We now have a fantastic opportunity to work with the RTA on the development and testing of the entire future ecosystem for safe autonomous air transport using Dubai as a first showcase project,” concludes Zosel.
Dubai will be the first city in the world to develop commercial guidelines, frameworks and policies on autonomous vehicles and now aerial transport as part of its publically stated aim to transform a quarter of all its transportation to self-driving by 2030.
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