Dubai has forged itself a ridiculous skyline piggybacking on the Emirates’ oil wealth. Look for the world’s tallest building and artificial coastlines to indoor ski resorts in a desert land, Dubai has it all. The city has the wealth and the resolve to make a mockery out of the seven wonders with their incredible infrastructure and services. Recently Dubai grabbed a lot of attention by announcing a drone passenger service for the city starting in July this year.
Dubai is encouraging a rapid shift towards a futuristic transit system with a Hyperloop link to Abu Dhabi and 25% automation of all vehicles by 2030. Chinese drone manufacturer Beijing Yi-Hang Creation Science and Technology decided to bank on this opportunity with their Ehang 184. It is a passenger drone capable of carrying a single person or cargo weighing up to 100 kilograms. Any person beyond the stated weight is not allowed to enjoy the drone ride as advanced modifications are still needed.
The design resembles a giant quadcopter with enough juice to power the drone for around 30 miles on a single charge with speeds up to 100 miles per hour. The drone is highly autonomous and allows the user to choose the destination on a touchscreen. The rest of the controls are reserved by the flight computer which is linked to a partially human supervised command centre.
Matt Al-Taylor, the chief of Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Authority confirmed that the Ehang 184 is not just a model or prototype, but a fully tested product. He reported that the Ehang 184 had flown through Dubai’s skies and produced safe and satisfactory results. That is unsurprising since the drone’s flight computer is capable of making emergency landings, self-diagnosing issues and avoiding obstacles on its own.
The service would be targeted towards the elites and VIPs. It might be considered an aerial limo taking passengers to various destinations, like the airport to Burj Khalifa; and with Dubai’s abundant helipads the drone seems like an ideal choice.
The Ehang 184’s service will debut in July might be the pioneering victory for not just the Chinese, but unmanned aviation in general. The manufacturer expects to see a cheaper successor to Ehang 184 post mass production. The technology is widely beneficial to civil and defence sectors alike. It can be the solution to crowded urban airspaces in various global cities and can improve logistics as well as the medical evacuation through most terrains. The manufacturing company of the drone envisions a similar future and wishes to market its product to other rich global cities in Europe, America and other continents.
Dubai has started what every global city will start in the near future. The drone transportation system will solve the traffic and local transportation problems in the future. And above all, it will make the life of the common populace very easy. Dubai is making its way to top with continuous innovations and immense wealth. We hope that the drone facility will soon spread all over the world.