Dubai is a ‘smart’ city, but you may ask: what’s so smart about getting stuck in traffic every day, at times for hours?
Forget driverless cars – they are passé when it comes to a smart city like Dubai.
Just like in so many other domains where Dubai has set records, the emirate has now taken it upon itself to fly around the sky in driverless mode.
Welcome to the flying car, or Autonomous Aerial Vehicle, as Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority calls it.
The RTA has showcased its first flying car at the ongoing three-day World Government Summit being held in Dubai from February 12-14.
This vehicle, produced by Ehang, is a smart and extremely eco-friendly low altitude autonomous aerial vehicle which can take commuters over short distances.
Is it safe?
You bet it is. This particular vehicle boasts fool-proof safety mechanisms and is designed with full redundancy.
It is in this flying car that an abnormality in one of its power systems does not hinder the flight or the passengers in it and completely ensures the safety of the vehicle as well as that of the passengers in it.
The car is embedded with a fail-safe system, and if any components malfunction or disconnect, the vehicle will immediately land in the nearest possible area to ensure safety.
Can it be hacked?
The communication is encrypted and each AAV has its independent key. As a passenger/s, you will need to interact with the touch screen navigation system, and the vehicle can then take you to your desired destination.
Even those with a serious fear of flying can be assured of a smooth flight in it.
How green is it?
It is designed to operate with 100% green technology and is powered by electricity alone, saving commuters money spent on fuel (and Salik!). Besides, you may not need a driver’s licence to fly one.
The ‘wings’ of the car fold up to lessen the overall footprint when not in flight. Each of the wings has 2 props with high-power custom motors.
Riding around in this driverless vehicle is also completely fuss-free. It takes one single click for it to take off and land. The command centre that it is connected to will prohibit it from taking off during extreme weather conditions, which is unlike the commercial flights that you most frequently fly in.
When will the RTA officially flag off the flying car in Dubai is the big question, but it sure is an exciting time to look forward to.
Pictures retrieved from Ehang website
Photo by Dhes Handumon/Khaleej Times