Dubai to Launch Self-Flying Air Taxi by July
Dubai officials say they plan to use Chinese-made drones to launch a self-flying air taxi as soon as July.
The Chinese-made EHang 184 drone has four propeller wings. It is designed to carry one passenger - weighing up to 100 kilograms - and a small piece of luggage.
The head of Dubai's Roads and Transportation Authority says the autonomous taxi has already been tested in the city-state. He said regular service is expected to begin by July.
The egg-shaped aircraft can reach a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour. It can operate for up to 30 minutes on a single battery charge, with a flying range of 50 kilometers.
A video demonstration of the air taxi shows the whole trip being automated. Drones can be requested through an app to arrive at an approved pickup location. The passenger then climbs in and enters the desired destination into a device built into the seat.
The auto-piloted aircraft then powers up, takes off and heads to the drop-off location.
Officials from EHang say all movements and functions of the drone will be monitored by people in a "Command and Control Center" on the ground. The person inside the aircraft will also be able to communicate with the command center if needed.
EHang said it has done major testing on its 184 vehicle in China over the past few years. It has also developed and sells several consumer drone models controlled by remote devices.
Last year, EHang signed an agreement with officials in the western state of Nevada to conduct test flights of the EHang 184. Nevada operates a testing center in cooperation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA. The goal is to get FAA approval for the EHang 184 to fly in the United States.
The company has said the drones could have other uses besides carrying passengers in the air in busy cities. They could also help in emergency rescue operations or deliver human organs.
Dubai is the commercial capital of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf. Officials there have long been pushing to adopt high-tech transportation alternatives. The ruler of the city-state has said that by 2030, at least 25 percent of all passenger trips are to be completed with driverless vehicles.
Dubai is already home to the world's longest driverless rail line. It also signed a deal with American businessman Elon Musk to look into building his proposed super-fast Hyperloop system.
Officials in Dubai have not outlined special regulations for the air taxi system. Currently, people who operate drones are required to register the aircraft. Last year, several drone incidents around Dubai International Airport, causing officials to briefly ground flights at the facility - one of the world's busiest.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.take off 起飞
We'll serve you cookies and drinks soon after the plane takes off.
2.special regulations 特殊规定
China's criminal law has special regulations on juvenile crime and criminal responsibility.
3.pick up 捡起；接某人
We drove to the airport the next morning to pick up Susan.
4.look into 调查
They set up a working party to look into the issue.
1.Dubai officials say they plan to use Chinese-made drones to launch a self-flying air taxi as soon as July.
as soon as 尽快；最早；一...就
As soon as we found this out, we closed the ward
As soon as I had made the final decision, I felt a lot more relaxed
2.It also signed a deal with American businessman Elon Musk to look into building his proposed super-fast Hyperloop system.
sign a deal with 与...签订协议
I signed a deal with those guys.
I just signed a deal with schleine records.
迪拜道路交通局局长表示，这种无人机已在迪拜进行了试飞 。他说，7月份将开始正式运营 。
这一空中的士的宣传视频表明，整个飞行过程皆为自动化操作 。应用程序能够发送请求，让无人机抵达批准的乘坐地点 。乘客登上飞机后可在座椅安装的设备上输入目的地 。
亿航公司官员表示，无人机的所有操作和功能都由地面指挥控制中心的人员监控 。如有需要，舱内乘客也可与指挥控制中心的人员通话 。
亿航公司称，过去几年，他们曾在中国对184无人机进行了主要测试 。该公司还开发和出售几款由遥控器操作的无人机模型 。
去年，亿航公司与美国西部的内华达州签订协议，进行亿航184无人机的飞行测试 。内华达州与美国联邦航空局合作运营了一家测试中心 。亿航公司的目的是获得亿航184无人机在美国境内飞行的许可 。
该公司介绍称，这种无人机除了在繁忙的城市搭载乘客外，还有其它用途 。他们还可以在紧急救援中提供帮助，或运送人体器官 。
坐落于波斯湾阿拉伯联合酋长国的迪拜是一座贸易之都 。长期以来，迪拜官员一直在积极推动采用高科技交通替代品 。迪拜的统治者曾表示，计划在2030年完成25%的无人驾驶出行模式 。
迪拜拥有全球最长的无人驾驶铁路系统 。它还与美国富商埃隆·马斯克（Elon Musk）签订协议，探讨建设其所提出的超级高铁系统 。
迪拜官员尚未制定载客无人机的特殊规定 。目前，无人机的管理人员需要做登记 。去年，迪拜国际机场附近发生了几起无人机事故，导致这个全球最繁忙机场被迫关闭 。