After Dubai, flying taxis in Saudi Arabia?
Fully-automated navigation passenger drones can fly up to 100 km an hour, stay up in air for 25 mins
A Chinese start-up EHang Inc. has big ambitions. The company has developed a flying car which can currently carry one passenger in its cockpit, with an aim to build a network of 'taxi drones' around the world.
According to a Bloomberg report, EHang's Chief Executive Officer Hu Huazhi said if the firm gets required approval from regulators, it plans to start its first operation as 'taxi drones' in Dubai in 2018, and then also sign deal with Saudi Arabia.
The drone E-184 can carry one passenger in its small cockpit, but the firm is working on a model that can carry two. The drone flies on four battery-powered propellers and is equipped with fully-automated navigation wherein passengers can select a pre-programmed flight path and then take off.
The E-184 can fly up to 100 km (62 miles) an hour and can stay in the air for 25 minutes. The drone is currently being tested at EHang's headquarters which is an abandoned theme-park on the outskirts of Guangzhou, southern China.
Revealing the firm's plans, Hu said, "We will start mass production of our passenger drones at the beginning of next year. We also plan to install fully automated production lines to enlarge manufacturing capacity in 2018."
Not only in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, EHang aims to seal deals with Singapore and several European cites next year, Hu said.
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