as forseen in designboom’s 2017 drone predictions, driverless vehicles will be flying into action this year. as of july, autonomous passenger drones will be carrying the people of dubai around their city. mattar al-tayer—the head of dubai’s roads & transportation agency—has announced that the chinese model ‘ehang 184‘ will be used as a self-flying taxi. the announcement follows tests that have already been carried out, flying the craft over the city’s iconic burj al arab hotel.

ehang184-dubai-passenger-drone-designboom-02-15-2017-818-010
the craft has already been tested around the metropolis

 

 

ehang 184, the drone in question, made waves at CES 2016 where it was first exhibited. each quadcopter has a battery that allows for a half-hour flight time and a distance of up to 50 kilometers. after settling into the drone’s race-car seat, all the passenger has to do is select a destination of the touch screen pad in front of them, buckle up and enjoy the futuristic ride. as for landing, the ehang 184’s four propellers fold inwards so the machine can fit into a single car-parking space.ehang184 dubai passenger drone taxi designboom 02-15-2017
the ehang 184 was first shown at CES 2016

 

 

the autonomous craft, controlled by 4G mobile internet, can reach a top speed of 160 KPH and carry a total passenger weight of more than 100 kilograms. passengers will not even require a license to travel, since the drones will be ‘auto-piloted’ by a command center. sounds terrifying? fear not, because the vehicle has a ‘fail safe’ system that prompts it to land in the nearest place should anything malfunction or disconnect. 

ehang184 dubai passenger drone taxi designboom 02-15-2017
the drone’s four propellers fold inwards making the craft small enough to fit into a parking space

 

 

the city has high hopes for a technology-filled future, with the ruler of dubai— sheikh mohammed bin rashid al maktoum—announcing last year that 25 percent of all journeys in the city would be conducted by driverless vehicles by 2030.

ehang184 dubai passenger drone taxi designboom 02-15-2017
the passenger will program their destination into a touch screen inside the drone

ehnag-184-autonomous-aerial-vehicle-ces-2016-designboom-09-818x535
a close up of the touchscreen’s user interface 

ehang184 dubai passenger drone taxi designboom 02-15-2017
the ehang can travel for 30 minutes on a single battery

ehang184-dubai-passenger-drone-designboom-02-15-2017-818-007
the autonomous drones are controlled by 4G mobile internet

ehang184 dubai passenger drone taxi designboom 02-15-2017
preliminary sketches for the quadcopter’s design

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    technology news