Dubai RTA Keen to Start Testing Autonomous Air Taxi
Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority(RTA) has said that it will begin the trials for the Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT), by the fourth quarter of 2017. The AAT will be capable of carrying up to two passengers.
For the autonomous air vehicles, the Dubai RTA has inked an agreement with the German firm, Volocopter. The Germany-based firm is known to be a specialist manufacturer of such autonomous air vehicles.
This move by the Dubai RTA to include Autonomous Air Taxi is a part of the authority’s efforts. The reasons behind this are to provide autonomous transportation; albeit after conducting all the essential technological tests of such vehicles under the harsh climatic conditions of Dubai.
According to the smart autonomous mobility strategy of Dubai, the plan is to seek a transformation of at least 25 percent in the total number of mobility journeys. The transformation will seek the 25 percent growth in the autonomous transport by 2030.
The Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) will be powered by electricity and will possess 18 rotors. The inclusion of 18 rotors will enable safe cruising and help the taxi land in the off chance of any rotor fail.
The air taxi will be characterised by its autonomous flying or autopilot and will enable the movement of people in Dubai without any human intervention.
Dubai RTA has been working on the development of operational and legislative guidelines along with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority. Both the authorities will work on defining specifications and standards applicable for operators of AAT in Dubai.
RTA will also coordinate and specify the air routes for the journeys; take-off and landing points of these taxis and the logistical backbone required for the safe and smooth mobility of passengers.
The Autonomous Air Taxi has some top of the line security and safety standards. The vehicle will be fitted with nine independent battery systems, full aircraft emergency parachute, a fast charging system of 40 minutes, and battery quick change and plug-in system.
The Autonomous Air Taxi is environment-friendly and will run on clean electricity producing very low noise. The vehicle will have 30 minutes flight time along with a maximum airspeed of 100 km/h. The cruise speed has been set to 50 km/h.