The future is now, and that is certainly true when we see the latest partnership between Huawei and Ehang who announced the first Asian drone taxi, which will be introduced to the public as soon as local regulations allow it.
Called the 184 AAV, which stands for Autonomous Aerial Vehicle, it is a fully green technology built large drone which can transport one passenger at low altitude.
According to the producer, the 184AAV is fully fail-safe, should one of the power systems be operating abnormal during flight, the vehicle will firstly always ensure the safety of the passenger and land at the nearest possible place.
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Ehang wanted to have the title of ‘world’s first’, but due to legal restrictions in China, it met with a two-month delay, which meant Dubai captured that honor when they introduced a two-seat drone taxi designed by German firm Volocopter in September already.
Dubai said at the time it hopes to be fully capable of launching drone taxi services in the United Arab Emirates by 2022.
Mr. Noel Sharkey, a robotics expert at Sheffield University, commented: "The big challenge will be dynamic obstacle avoidance of other taxis, buildings, birds and delivery drones. The skies could become uncomfortably crowded very quickly. The ground level of the city could become a dark place of intrigue and mystery like Blade Runner."
Whereas now your girlfriend/boyfriend is probably calling ‘honey, did the Uber already arrive?’, in a decade or so when all legal arrangements will be made, various western and Asian societies will probably be introducing drone taxis who hover over the city.
According to us, a great way to reduce both carbon footprint and traffic jams.
Whether taxi drivers agree remains to be seen but with the purchase of 40,000 SUV’s from Volvo by Uber to be introduced as autonomous vehicles in California in the next few years, they must know already what the future will hold for them.