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Test flights for flying taxis underway as Dubai aims to be ‘smartest city’ in the world

Dubai has established itself as one of the most modern cities in the entire world. Twenty years ago, it was a very different place, but the government decided to embrace technology and innovation to completely transform the city. However, it doesn't intend to rest on its laurels, and the Government of Dubai has expressed its desire to make Dubai the 'smartest city' in the world.

This ambition can be evidenced with its effort to deploy driverless flying taxis. While some may have had reservations over the project, with many dismissing it wouldn't happen. Well, it's now happening - and a video has been released in YouTube which shows the test flight trials of the autonomous taxis.

The trials of the Ehang 184 autonomous aerial vehicle has been taking place at the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) test site. The video was uploaded with the caption: "Test flights have been carried out especially at deserts and coastal environments for a number of adaptive aviation flight test subjects."

The Director General and Chairman of RTA, Mattar Al Tayer, says the project is part of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's plans to make Dubai the 'smartest city' in the entire world - and that this particular project complimented the RTA's desire to implement self-driving transportation across Dubai.

H.E. Al Tayer said, "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. It is also part of RTA's endeavors to provide self-driving transport through engaging in the technological tests of self-driving vehicles under Dubai environment."

The flying taxi used in the test trials, isn't just a test model, it's the real version that will be used to transport people through the sky. It has also been reported that a ground-based center will control the operation to ensure everything runs smoothly.

 "It replicates Dubai Self-driving Transport Strategy aimed at transforming 25 per cent of total individual trips in Dubai into self-driving trips using various modes of transport by 2030," Mr Al Tayer added.

The Ehang 184 is designed to fly for a maximum of 30 minutes at 160 kilometres per hour. According to reports, the standard cruising speed set in Dubai is likely to be 100 kilometres per hour. It will ascend and descend at a rate of six metres per second.