The autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) is called Ehang 184 and it will transport passengers around the city of Dubai starting this July.

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According to Government of Dubai Media Office, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in collaboration with the Chinese EHANG Company, just announced that it had carried out the first test run of an Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) capable of carrying a human, branded as EHANG184 in Dubai skies in all weather conditions, except during thunderstorm.

Ehang 184 - measuring 3.9 m in length, 4.02 m in width and 1.60 m in height - can board one passenger and their bag and is capable of flying for up to 23 minutes. Weighing 250 kg, AAV is equipped with a touchscreen to the front of the passenger seat, so the passenger can see a map of all destinations available in the form of dots. Travelling routes are preset, so the rider only needs to select the desired destination and off Ehang goes - automatically! It takes off and flies to previously selected place, descends and lands in a specific landing spot. Although the travel is automatic, there is still ground control center active at all times to monitor and control the entire operation via 4G data network and through M2M and LTE technologies.

The AAV is designed to fly at a maximum cruising speed of 160 km/h, while the standard speed is expected at 100 km/h. According to press release, the ascending/descending speed is about 6 meters per second and the landing speed is 4m/s. The maximum cruising height is 3000 feet and the battery charging time is 1-2 hours.

HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA said: "The trial run of the first AAV is in implementation of the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world." He also added that it replicates Dubai Self-driving Transport Strategy aimed at transforming 25% of total individual trips in Dubai into Self-driving trips using various modes of transport by 2030. 

RTA is set to start the operation of the AAV in July this year. More information on Ehang 184 is available here.

Feb. 16, 2017 Driving photo: Ehang

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