Look Up In the Sky? What is that thing? Is it a Bird? Or a Plane? Well, it might just be a Drone Taxi!
What is a Drone Taxi?
At last year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Ehang introduced its protoype for a drone taxi. The Chinese drone manufacturer’s single-seat, self-flying pod would allow a passenger to enter their location via GPS, and then whisk them away for up to 23 minutes at speeds of up to 63 miles per hour. Sounds like something you’d see on The Jetsons.
While the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development OK’d testing, there’s been no further word on air taxis in Vegas. However, that was last year. In Vegas. Last month, in Dubai, innovators sent the world’s first self-flying taxi on its maiden voyage using 18 rotors to hover 650 feet above the ground.
This futuristic flying machine was built by the German company Volocopter. Standing about 6 feet 6 inches tall, it’s basically the cockpit of a two-seat helicopter attached to a circular frame that supports 8 rotors. It’s powered entirely by 9 batteries and to fully charge each takes about 2 hours. Additionally, the drone taxi is safely outfitted with emergency parachutes.
The current plan is for these unmanned Autonomous Air Taxis (AAT) to be hailed via a smartphone app, where you can book a ride and wait for pick up at a nearby “voloport.” Then the air taxis pick up and fly passengers for up to 30 minutes at about 30 miles per hour. Like Lyft … but Lyft Off.
During its trial run, the Volocopter—which takes off and lands vertically, like its ancestor, the helicopter—took Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed for a five-minute flight
200 meters above a sand patch. While this was just a test, their goal is to offer longer rides—up to 30 minutes—in the future. This model flies based on GPS tracks, but Volocopter plans to implement advanced technology in its newer models that will allow machines to avoid obstacles and steer clear of collisions with other flying taxis.
Dubai’s Road and Transit Authority is already working diligently with aviation authorities to create regulations and policies for this new brand of air travel in the hopes that residents and tourists alike will be able to hail an air taxi within the next five years.
While we don’t yet offer drone taxi’s for sale, we have a wide selection of the smaller variety here at VeryDrone and can certainly assist you with drones from manufacturers like DJI & Yuneec. Our staff of drone experts can answer any questions about which drone may be best for you. And as the holidays approach, be sure to check out all of our Black Friday Drone Specials, available all month only at VeryDrone! Give us a call at 954-580-9551 anytime, or stop by our store at 2101 N Federal Highway, Suite D201, Pompano Beach, FL 33062