Dubai sets autonomous flying cars loose this summer

Posted February 16, 2017

The vehicle is designed in such a way that it can carry a single passenger who weighs up to 260 pounds, along with a small suitcase.

Dubai is aiming to become the world's first city to have passenger-carrying drones operating in its skies.

DUBAI'S dramatic skyline will soon be filled with buzzing passenger drones ferrying tourists and commuters.

Dubai officials have revealed plans to launch autonomous drone passenger craft as early as this July. The drone does not allow users to fly manually; an automated destination input/delivery system is created to eliminate human error.

The EHang 184 can travel on a programmed course at 100 kilometres an hour (60 mph) at an altitude of 300 metres (1,000 feet), the authority said in a statement.

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"The RTA is making every effort to start the operation of the AAV in July 2017", RTA executive director and chair Mattar Al Tayer said at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Monday.

Passengers simply make themselves comfortable before punching in their destination using a dashboard touch screen.

Mr. Al Tayer went on to explain why the partnership with Tesla is a strategic move for RTA stating that "Tesla has been selected for its pioneering endeavors in the manufacturing of electric vehicles". It has a top speed of just over 35mph and a maximum cruising time of about 25 minutes, giving it a range of somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 miles. In May, authorities in Nevada announced they would partner with EHang to test the 184 to possibly be cleared by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Plans to launch the service in Dubai are part of a wider vision to transform the city into a global centre for driverless mobility.