In Brief
  • Dubai is testing a self-driving hover-taxi in hopes of launching the official service by July of this year.
  • With this new innovation, Dubai could reach its goal of becoming a world leader in driverless technology by 2030.

We’re a lot closer to flying cars that we think. In fact, Dubai has already begun testing a prototype of a self-driving hover-taxi with the hope of launching an aerial shuttle service by July.

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“The autonomous aerial vehicle exhibited at the World Government Summit is not just a model. We have already experimented (with) the vehicle in a flight in (the) Dubai sky. RTA will spare no effort to launch the AAV in July 2017,” shares director general of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Mattar Al-Tayer.

To avail of the taxi service, passengers will simply select a destination before they board the vehicle with the help of a ground control center. The EHang 184 quadcopter can travel on a programmed course at 100 km an hour (60 mph) at an altitude of 300 meters (1,000 feet), the authority said in a statement.

The service is meant to help reduce traffic congestion along the Emirate’s main thoroughfares, and was built to withstand the country’s extreme temperatures during summer. With this new innovation, Dubai could reach its goal of becoming a world leader in driverless technology by 2030.