Vimana to introduce unmanned aerial taxi in Dubai
Dubai's push towards autonomous mobility is gaining traction globally as the emirate is increasingly becoming a platform to introduce latest modes of autonomous transportation.
The US-based flying taxi firm Vimana Global will conduct prototype trial of its autonomous aerial vehicle in Dubai this month prior to its launch in the emirate and other cities around the world, its chief executive officer said.
"We are at the starting point of the mutual collaboration including feasibility study with the local authorities in Dubai to undertake and deploy blockchain aerospace platform prior to its launch in 2020 here and in some other cities," said Evgeni Borisov, founder and CEO, Vimana Global.
"We keep Dubai on top of the list because the emirate has broken the ice in smart urban mobility; the government here is taking the mobility to next stage from 2D mobility to 3D mobility," Borisov told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the Arab Future Cities Summit in Dubai on Tuesday.
Last month, Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority made a history with the launch of autonomous flying taxi in an aerial test. The two-seater autonomous aerial vehicle was developed by German drone firm Volocopter and was capable of transporting people without human intervention or a pilot.
During the first day of the Summit, Borisov revealed that the authorities visited the exhibition and were excited about the platform. Senior officials from Roads and Transport Authority, Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Dubai Municipality, Executive Council of Dubai, Masdar and other government entities attended the summit and exhibition.
"We are launching our prototype in Dubai this month and are also discussing the flight test of our smaller prototype's here in Dubai," he revealed during the interview.
Providing blockchain-based unmanned air taxi service, Palo Alto-based Vimana aims to provide service in a number of Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore among others.
Borisov revealed that the unmanned 4-seater flying taxi can carry passengers or 400kg of payload. "We also have a smaller single seater aircraft which is mostly used for industrial applications such as exploration, production, logistics and aerial cargo shipment.
"The 4-passenger version which we developed for urban mobility intends to bring in people within 900km or 600 miles range. According to our current calculation, one mile travel is not going to cost more than 20 cents," Borisov revealed during the interview.
The high-speed version for global transportation companies can cruise at a speed of 150 miles per hour. But it's adjustable and customisable according to the requirements, he concluded.
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