World's First Passenger Drone Readies for Takeoff in Dubai

This summer, commuters may have another option for moving around Dubai as a pilotless drone is prepared to shuttle passengers around the city.
February 15, 2017, 7am PST | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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Alex Butterfield

The Ehang 184 passenger drone will be the world's first passenger drone in operation this July if all goes as planned. Dezeen reports that Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority executive director Mattar al-Tayer announced plans at the World Government Summit to have the passenger-carrying drone begin flying across the city this summer. However, there are some limitations to the pilotless flights.

It can carry one passenger weighing up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and can stay airborne for 30 minutes on one charge....

There is no passenger override function, which means that anyone can travel in the drone without a pilot's license. However, this also means the user can't take control in an emergency.

The drone, developed by Chinese manufacturer Ehang, was first introduced last year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Arab News reports that the government of the United Arab Emirates is currently testing the drones. The flying passenger drone technology is part of a larger plan to make 25 percent of all trips in Dubai into driverless journeys by 2030, including the use of driverless minibuses and boats.

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Published on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 in Dezeen
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