clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dubai is planning to launch autonomous, one-passenger drone taxis this summer

There’s no one flying the aircraft.

Latest Consumer Technology Products On Display At CES 2016 Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

While companies like Amazon and Alphabet continue to press forward with plans to get drones to deliver items bought online to people’s doorsteps, in Dubai officials from the federal transportation authority are much more ambitious.

Pilotless drones capable of carrying a person will begin to soar through Dubai’s airspace this July, according to an announcement made Monday by Mattar Al Tayer, the chief of Dubai’s roads & transportation agency, at the World Government Summit.

The country is turning to a Chinese-made drone, the Ehang 184, which can carry a passenger weighing up to 220 pounds for about a 30-minute trip. The egg-shaped aircraft hovers using eight propellers — two attached to each of the drone’s four arms.

Test flights have already been conducted in Dubai, and the taxi service is expected to launch in July, says Al Tayer.

The passenger drone has a “fail-safe system” and “if any components malfunction or disconnect, the aircraft will immediately land in the nearest possible area to ensure safety,” according to Ehang’s website.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.