The notion of a flying car may sound farfetched, but it seems that one may soon see drones ferrying passenger over the Dubai skyline.
The Dubai Roads and Transportation Agency's head Mattar al-Tayer has announced that passenger drones will soon fly over Dubai skies.
By July, the EHang 184 — China-made passenger drone — will begin "regular operations" around the city.
"This is not only a model. We have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai's skies," revealed al-Tayer at the World Government Summit.
The EHang 184, also known as a personal flying vehicle or passenger drone, is already at the Burj Al-Arab skyscraper that has floating helipad, which is 689 feet above the ground.
Passenger Drone Coming To U.S.?
In May 2016, officials in Nevada shared that they would collaborate with EHang so that they could test the drone. This would enable the EHang 184 to get clearance from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
It is not known whether the PFV will eventually be given the green signal in the U.S. especially considering the regulations being implemented even on unmanned aerial vehicles.
Dubai, however, will beat the U.S. in the race and will be the first city to have the right of flying the passenger drones from July this year.
Design And Tenacity Of The Drone
The PFV is nearly the size of a small car and can ferry a single person within a 10-mile radius. The drone is essentially a one-person pod that has eight rotors located on four arms, this gives it the name 184.
The design of the drone is like egg-shaped vehicle having four legs. The vehicle is developed in such a way that it can carry a single passenger who weighs up to 260 pounds, along with a small suitcase. The EHang 184's seat resembles that of a race car, which adds to the appeal of the craft.
The PFV can fly vertically and is able to fly as high as11,000 feet. The drone, which weighs 440 pounds, can also fly for 23 minutes at sea level.
The flight time of the drone has a limitation. The battery of the drone allows for a 23-minute flying time. The range of the drone is a maximum of 31 miles and the whole flight will be monitored by a control room, which is situated at the ground level.
The maximum speed the EHang 184 can accomplish is 100 miles per hour; however, authorities have asserted that the drone will operate at a speed of 62 miles per hour. The flight will be monitored with the help of 4G wireless Internet.
Operation Of Drone
The octocopter is autonomous and after sitting in the drone, the passenger can choose the destination through a touchscreen pad that is placed in front of the seat. The passenger simply needs to wear the seat belt for safety and the drone takes off and flies automatically.
Catch the passenger drone in action in our special feature.