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The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced that they have conducted its first test run of an autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) called the Ehang 184, that’s capable of carrying a person. The AAV test is done in collaboration with the Chinese firm Ehang, and RTA plans to launch its first operations by summer this year.
The flying car was showcased at the World Government Summit in Dubai. “The AAV exhibited at the summit is not just a model; it is a real version that we have already experimented the vehicle in a flight in Dubai sky. The RTA is making every effort to start the operation of the AAV in July 2017," said Mattar Al Tayer, the Director General and Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The Ehang 184 features a touchscreen on the front that displays a map of all the destinations as dots. Passengers will be able to select the preset routes and destinations. The machine will then take off automatically and cruise to the destination, and will land in a specific spot. The flight will be monitored and controlled by a ground-based center.
"The trial run of the first AAV is in implementation of the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world," said Mr Al Tayer.
“It is also part of the RTA’s endeavors to provide self-driving transport through engaging in the technological tests of self-driving vehicles in a Dubai environment. It replicates Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy aimed at transforming 25 per cent of total individual trips in Dubai into self-driving trips using various modes of transport by 2030"
"The step would also enhance the integration between public transport modes and people happiness through the provision of smooth, quick and innovative mobility.”
"We have addressed the highest levels of security in the designing and manufacturing of the Ehang184. The vehicle is fitted with eight main propellers" said by Mr Al Tayer.
"In case of any failure in the first propeller, there would be seven other propellers ready to complete the flight and a smooth landing, while mitigating the impact of the fault sustained by the first propeller."
"In case of any malfunctioning in one of these systems, the standby system would be capable of controlling and safely steering the AAV to the programmed landing point," "Dubai Civil Aviation Authority was a partner in our trials defining the safety criteria required, issuing the permits for trial and inspecting the vehicle, RTA appreciates their contribution.” "The 4G data network is used in communication between the AAV and the ground control center. The company had also provided the support needed to ensure the continued communication between the AAV and the control centre through M2M and LTE technologies,"
This new initiative by Dubai clearly indicates that the city is poised to go futuristic in the long run. Tesla, the automobile company that manufactures automated cars has been officially launched in the UAE, and deliveries of their vehicles are already planned by summer 2017.