Earlier this month, transportation experts said that flying taxis will happen at the earliest in 10 years time, which some tech analysts consider as way off prediction notwithstanding the level of technology that the world is taking on at the moment.
With the first flying car already available for pre-order, it is just a matter of time that a flying taxi would follow suit, they believe.
In fact, there are more commercial projects involving flying vehicles looming large on the horizon as a result of the advent of the flying car.
To get things rolling toward such end, Dubai has announced its plans to introduce flying drone taxis in the near future.
A different level of technology
While it may sound like an out-of-this-world project, but the Middle Eastern city of the United Arab Emirates is really serious about the rather unusual concept of passenger-commuting.
Some critics aver that people living in Dubai are thinking on a different level compared to the rest of the world. The city is known for its technological prowess, which raises a lot of eyebrows every now and then.
Then again, some of the projects taking place in the city will set an intriguing precedent for the rest of the world. Flying drone taxis may seem a bit far-fetched for the time being, but the concept seems solid thus far.
Dubai has a thing for technological advancements in the transportation sector. Teams are already working on hyperloop trains and driverless metro lines.
Thus, flying drone taxis seem to be a logical fit, looking at the bigger picture. Whether or not they can pull it off, is a different matter entirely, that much is certain. There are quite a few intriguing details about these flying taxis that necessitate a closer look, details The Merkle.
A driverless vehicle
It should also be noted that the flying drone taxis being envisioned in Dubai are going to be unpiloted, which means passengers put their life in the hands of software and hardware.
The idea may turn off quite a few people at first, as trusting an autonomous machine is still hard for many people. Moreover, there can only be one passenger per taxi, which seems to be more a safety precaution rather than an issue imposed by the technology itself.
There is more, as the passenger and his luggage cannot weigh over 220 pounds. This restricts air travel to the skinny part of the population, which is somewhat discriminatory.
Plus, the unpiloted taxi drone will only have a range of 31 miles, which means flight time is restricted to mere minutes per passenger. Then again, that is still a very solid distance for the first generation of these commercial vehicles.
Using an unpiloted drone taxi makes a lot of sense in Dubai, though. Its roads are considered one of the world’s deadliest, and traffic congestion is reaching alarming heights as of late.
Flying in a drone to cruise above the people standing bumper-to-bumper can be quite a pleasant experience. Considering the drones reach 62 miles an hour in speed, the journey will not be slow by any means.
It is unclear how much one would have to pay for the unique experience. But knowing Dubai, it will not be a cheap endeavor by any means.
Despite its restrictions based on passenger weight and travel distance, it is a somewhat safe experience by the look of things.
Meanwhile, transportation experts believe autonomous flying taxis could be a fad still in the next 10 to 15 years because the challenges to their implementation are going to be significant.
While numerous companies are working on the technology needed for such vehicles, infrastructure has to be firmly in place to support their usage.
Way before Elon Musk of Tesla Motors planned to drill under Los Angeles to avoid traffic, several companies had already been toying with the idea of beating traffic by going over it.
Flying cars have long been a part of science fiction, but they could soon become a part of everyday reality. And once people have autonomous flying cars, it’s only a matter of time before autonomous flying taxis also comes out, notes Futurism.
Charles Eastlake, an aerospace engineering professor at Embry-Riddle University, said that his best engineering guess is that people will be using autonomous air taxis in the next 10 or 15 years, but definitely not certain, citing that the challenges are going to be big.