Dubai tests world’s first self-flying taxi

Volocopter GmbH is the global leader in the development of vertically launching, fully electrical multicopters for the transport of people and of heavy lifting cargo drones. The technical platform is extremely flexible and permits piloted, remote controlled and fully autonomous flight. In addition, the unique design offers a huge degree of safety based on the high redundancy of all critical components.

 This futuristic, flying taxi will shuttle passengers in Dubai later this year.

Volocopter 2X self-driving helicopters have a maximum range of 17 miles when flying at 43 mph. Its maximum flight time is 27 minutes while at cruise speeds of 31 mph. It can also reach a maximum speed of 62 mph.

The self-driving helicopters are 2.15 meters high (about 6 and a half feet). The diameter of its rotor rim (including its propellers) is 7.35 meters or 24.11 feet. It also comes with an emergency parachute, uses 18 electric motors, and is powered by 9 independent battery systems.

The company’s stated objective is to make every human’s dream of flying come true and to help modern cities resolve their increasing mobility issues. As early as 2011 the company earned its entry into the history of aviation through the manned flight of the world’s first purely electrical multicopter. Since then the young enterprise has set new milestones: In 2016 Volocopter was granted provisional licensing for a two seater Volocopter by the German aviation authority and in 2017 the aviation start-up entered into an agreement with RTA Dubai over the global premiere of an autonomously flying air taxi.

The volocopter 2X is a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft powered purely by electricity, meaning the vehicle is emission free and makes very little noise in comparison to other VTOL aircraft. the ultralight aircraft is easy to manuoever, and following the granting of ‘multicopter’ certification, will be able to be flown by anyone with a sport pilot license. however, the those without a licence need not miss out, since volocopter plan to use the aircrafts as flying taxis come 2018.

Volocopter 2X
the 18 rotor craft can be piloted, controlled by a remote control, or flown completely autonomously

although the design of the 2X also allows for remote-controlled or even completely autonomous flights, for the first flying taxi pilot projects, e-volo assumes the volocopter 2X will still be pilot-controlled due to currently applicable regulations. nonetheless, remote-controlled or autonomous taxi flights will be able to be carried out unmanned as necessary.

Volocopter will likely face competition sooner rather than later, considering how the RTA has also signed a deal for testing on quadcopters. Uber has also expressed interest in VTOL flight in the city.

 

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