The autonomous flying taxi simply named “184” is ready to take to the skies this summer, ferrying paying passengers around the Emirati city of Dubai, according to an reports.
Developed by Chinese firm EHang, the 184 takes its name from having one passenger, eight propellors, and four arms. Perhaps there should be a “0” too, for zero pilots. Yes, this particular bit of kit operates sans driver.
The plan for EHang’s autonomous flying machine was announced this week by Mattar al-Tayer, the head of Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency.
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Perhaps wary of sketpics in the room scoffing at the idea of an over-sized, multi-rotor, person-carrying copter going into service anytime soon, al-Tayer added, “This is not only a model – we have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies.”
The remarkable aircraft requires no skills or effort to operate. You just climb inside, tap your destination on a digital map, then sit back and enjoy the view. There’s no joystick to handle, no levers to mess with, and no buttons to press.
The 184 stands at about 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) tall and weighs around 440 pounds (200 kg). Battery powered, it can fly for around 30 minutes at an average cruising speed of 62 mph (100 kmh).
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