As the world gradually take steps into the future, German company, e-volo, help quicken the pace. With the emergence of the Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) service, e-volo brings us closer to the future as they announce their agreement with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) to begin testing their 18-rotor multi-copter known as the Volocopter 2X, as part of a flying taxi service later this year.
The Volocopter 2X experiment will be carried out in the fourth quarter of 2017 in Dubai, and it will be on-going for the next five years. Before the Volocopter 2X, the air taxi project used the Ehang 184, a 500-Pound single-seat passenger drone. The Dubai RTA didn’t disclose any particular reason for switching to the Volocopter 2X aircraft, but touted e-volo’s reputation for safety. The Volocopter 2X is a two-seater which gives it the advantage over the Ehang 184.
The aircraft is electrically powered, with 18 rotors and nine independent quick-charge battery system that back-up each other when one fails and can be fully charged in as little as 40 minutes. So far it has a maximum range of 17 miles when flying at a speed of 43 mph with an optimum flight time of 27 minutes.
In order to make sure the system is truly ready before it takes to the air, the Dubai RTA postponed the project to begin next month. Dubai RTA also made it known that they are working closely with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to sort out legislative and operational guidelines, along with thorough exact standards for the potential taxi service operators to have all the piece before the “commercial and official operation” of the AATs.
Howbeit, this is just a rolling stone for flying taxis, with companies like Ehang and Uber who are in corporation with the Dubai RTA to publicly demonstrate their own flying taxi service in the year 2020.