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.

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

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

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