More images revealed of air taxis set to begin trials in Dubai this year

Dubai’s RTA has teamed up with German company Volocopter to develop the flying taxis



More images have been of the flying taxis that are expected to begin trials in Dubai this year.

The images, released by the German company Volocopter – which specialises in the manufacturing of autonomous air vehicles, were shared by the Dubai Media Office on Tuesday.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has teamed up with Volocopter, and confirmed in June that trials of the autonomous air taxis would ‘gradually’ begin in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The new autonomous air taxi, which will feature ‘luxurious interiors’ and leather seating for two persons, will be powered by clean electricity.

Measuring about two metres in height, the diameter of the vehicle’s rotor rim including propellers is about seven metres.

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, director-general and 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 RTA said it will also sign additional partnerships with other manufacturers of autonomous air vehicles after ‘ensuring their fulfilment of the specifications and standards of air safety approved in Dubai’.

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.

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