Because Dubai believes in living in the future today, the city's Roads And Transport Authority has announced the implementation of self-flying drone taxis around the city beginning this summer. The Chinese produced EHang 184 has been the first vehicle approved, and passengers won't have to do anything but climb inside and choose a destination via touchscreen, then be terrified until you're back on the ground. That's some Jetsons shit.
[Safety features include] eight rotors, allowing for redundancy should one or more fail. Redundant processors and sensors can kick in should the primary systems encounter a problem, and the AAV is designed to automatically locate the nearest safe landing spot and touch down should that happen. EHang's system uses a centralized control room from which it can monitor and take control of the 184 via an encrypted LTE connection.
As for performance, though the top speed is around 100 mph, Dubai is likely to restrict the EHang 184 to around 62 mph. Electric, it's able to fly for around 30 minutes on a full charge, and recharge in 1-2 hours. Maximum cruising altitude is 3,000 feet, and the craft has a footprint roughly 13 feet square; it uses cameras among other sensors to identify a landing spot and position itself accordingly.
Man, we really are inching towards the future. We're like the tortoise in that Tortoise And The Hare fable. And you know how that one ends, right? "Of course." Well tell me about it, because I've got a book report due 7th period and I've got the feeling 'They both get shot by a hunter' isn't the real ending like my brother swore to me it was. "It totally is." Okay cool I was just making sure.
Keep going for two videos, the second of which is a test flight of the EHang 184.
Thanks to my dad, who made me promise to buy him a plane that can land on water as soon as I have enough money, presumably to hide pirate treasure on deserted islands. Count me in!