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Flying Taxis Will Deploy This Summer

Dubai has announced that airborne taxis will be available for passengers up to 220 lbs, starting this July.

I know you’ve been wondering, as much as I have, when the future would arrive. When I was a kid I figured by the year 2000 we’d all have mechanical arms or something. And then hoverboards looked like they might be a thing for a hot second…

Anyway, this latest development might just blow your mind. We reported in January that the flying car might be viable in as few as ten years, as researcher and automakers scrambled to push the envelope on congestion reduction via the use of air commuting.

Well, as it turns out, Dubai is scoffing at this ten-year timeline. The UAE city’s Roads and Transportation Agency has announced at the World Government Summit that a drone that can carry people will begin regular operations starting in July. As in, this July.

The airborne taxis will be designed to zip solo passengers up to 220 pounds to destinations on a 30 minute charge. The BBC is reporting that the passenger uses a touch screen to select a destination. There are no other controls inside the craft, and it is "auto-piloted" by a command center.

The Ehang 184 autonomous quad-opener electric drone, made in China, can travel at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Apparently these have been tested already in the skies of Dubai, though there is still a lot to be discovered as they take on commercial use. BBC quoted Dr Steve Wright, senior lecturer in avionics and aircraft systems at the University of the West of England, who said he’d “have to be taken on board kicking and screaming."

Uh, same here. I think I’d rather be stuck in traffic than fly over it in a drone. At least at this stage of the game.

I’m Anna Wells and this is IEN Now.

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