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Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, on Monday attended the maiden concept flight of the autonomous air taxi (AAT).
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The vehicle will be used for the world’s first self-flying taxi service set to be introduced by Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA), a statement said.
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The two-seater AAT, capable of transporting people without human intervention or a pilot, has been supplied by Volocopter, a Germany-based specialist manufacturer of autonomous air vehicles.
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The test flight was held at a location near the Jumeirah Beach Park.
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“After the remarkable success of the first driverless metro in the region, we are glad to witness today the test flight of the Autonomous Air Taxi,” said Sheikh Hamdan. “This is another testament to our commitment to driving positive change. We are constantly exploring opportunities to serve the community and advance the prosperity and happiness of society.”
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His Highness stressed the importance of the transportation sector, which he said is a vital driver of the development process and an indicator of the level of advancement of the nation.
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Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Emirates Group, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future and Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority also attended the test flight.
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Powered by clean electricity and featuring low noise levels, the AAT is an environmentally-friendly vehicle. Its current prototype version has a maximum flight time of approximately 30 minutes at a cruise speed of 50 km/h, and a maximum airspeed of 100 km/h.
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Over the next five years, the RTA said it will collaborate with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to ensure that the operational requirements for implementing AAT services are put in place.