Saturday, 16 October 2021 08:45 GMT

US company to conduct test flight for Dubai air taxis


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Dubai made aviation history in September this year when an aerial test of a two-seater, self-flying taxi was conducted in Jumeirah Beach Residence area. The aim is to be the world's first city providing self-flying taxi service.

Taking a step further, US-based flying taxi firm Vimana Global is building a novel blockchain-based and blockchain-regulated Airspace Ecosystem and is in talks with Dubai's Road Transport Authority (RTA) to get permission to conduct a test flight in Q1 2018. In terms of commercial rollout, the plan is to have an operational fleet in select smart cities like Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, Tokyo, Singapore and Mumbai by 2020.

The firm is currently working on running the vehicle through final testing protocol wherein the Ecosystem intends to provide Urban Air Mobility programs with daily network aerial commuting based on fly-by-wire operating Vertical Take-Off and Landing Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (VTOL AAVs).

The firm states that the main challenge facing implementation of an AAV network is that existing air traffic control towers are unequipped to manage potentially thousands of AAV flights in a given city.

Vimana addresses this hurdle with its patented, industry-first, blockchain-backed airspace ecosystem for managing AAV flight paths. Blockchain technology is uniquely suited to power Vimana's Airspace Management Platform because of its capacity to validate data in a peer-to-peer network.

Each AAV will be a node in the VIMANA network wherein each node validates the flight routes of all other nodes in the network. This ensures that AAVs do not depend on a centralized authority for determining flight direction. With all nodes maintaining constant communication with one another, human passengers can simply plug in their final destination and relax as they are delivered to safely and quickly to their stop.

The firm's aerospace engineering team is developing a two and four-seater AAV and the first demonstrations of the unmanned aerial vehicles and Blockchain Airspace Ecosystem will occur in selected Smart Cities like Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, Tokyo, Singapore, and Mumbai as early as Q1 2018.

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