Tired of being stuck in the daily Dubai traffic? Don’t worry – soon you’ll be able to fly right past it!
Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced that the test run of an Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV), capable of carrying a human up in the air, was successful.
The flying vehicle (Ehang 184) that was tested out at the World Government Summit this week, was designed in collaboration with Chinese company Ehang, and the RTA is set to launch operations later this year.
The Ehang 184 is fully equipped with a touchscreen on the front of the passenger seat, displaying a map of all destinations in the form of dots.
It has preset routes, which come up as soon as the passenger selects the intended destination. The vehicle will then start automatic operation, take off and cruise to the set destination before descending and landing in a specific spot.
And while the passenger is up in the air, a ground control centre will be monitoring and controlling the entire operation.
“The trial run of the first AAV is in implementation of the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA said at World Government Summit.
“The AAV exhibited at the World Government Summit is not just a model; it is a real version that we have already experimented the vehicle in a flight in Dubai sky. The RTA is making every effort to start the operation of the AAV in July 2017.”
Measuring 3.9 m in length, 4.02 m in width and 1.60 m in height, the AAV weighs about 250 kg on its own, and is designed to operate in all climates, unless there’s a thunderstorm.
The vehicle is designed to fly for maximum 30 minutes, and at a maximum cruising speed of 160 km/h – however the standard speed should be 100 km/h. It can cruise at a maximum height of 3,000 feet and the battery charging time is one to two hours.
The ascending and descending speed is 6 meters per second, and the landing speed is 4 metres per second.
“We have addressed the highest levels of security in the designing and manufacturing of the EHANG184.”
The flying vehicle is fitted with eight main propellers, which operate one at a time, and is independent from the contents of the vehicle. In case of any failure, there are seven other propellers ready to complete the flight and ensure a smooth landing.
In case of any malfunctioning in one of the systems, the standby system would be capable of controlling and safely steering the AAV to the landing point.
RTA plans to launch the AAV vehicles by July, and we cannot wait to fly past all the traffic on the E11 at 6pm.