Dubai’s dramatic skyline will soon be filled with buzzing passenger drones ferrying tourists and commuters.
The autonomous helicopter taxi was unveiled during the second day of the World Government Summit in Dubai last month.
The head of Dubai's -ency said that self-flying taxis would start taking people across the city starting from July.
The city will use the EHang 184 for the airborne service. The tiny egg-shaped drone is electric-powered and can travel without human direction for about 31 miles on a journey up to 23 minutes long, with a person and bag that weigh up to 100kg. It can go at speeds of up to 63 miles an hour and takes two hours to charge fully. It can take one person.
The Chinese-made EHang 184 has four legs sticking out, each with two small propellers.
Mattar al-Tayer, the head of Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Agency, made the announcement during the World Government Summit.
“This is not only a model, we have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai's skies,” said al-Tayer.
Passengers simply make themselves comfortable before punching in their destination using a dashboard touch screen.
The chopper will be monitored at all times from a ground control room.
To call for a flying taxi all passengers will need to do is enter their destination into an app. The drone then maps the route and transports the passenger to their destination. It can't fly directly but has to hop from one set landing spot to another.
Its propellers fold inwards as it lands so it can fit in a single car parking space.
Designed to be secure, the autonomous vehicle has a "fail safe" system, according to the company, that prompts it to land in the nearest place if anything malfunctions or disconnects. It also communicates via encrypted channels.