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Dubai Central Planners Subsidize Driverless Drones



(p. A7) Like a scene from "The Jetsons," commuters in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, may soon climb aboard automated flying taxis, soaring over busy streets and past the desert city's gleaming skyscrapers, all -- quite literally -- at the push of a button.

Passenger drones, capable of carrying a single rider and a small suitcase, will begin buzzing above the emirate as early as July [2017], according to the director of the city's transportation authority, part of an ambitious plan to increase driverless technology.

Already, the eight-rotor drone, made by the Chinese firm Ehang, has flown test runs past the Burj Al Arab, Dubai's iconic, sail-shaped skyscraper.

The drone "is not just a model but it has really flown in Dubai skies," Mattar Al Tayer, the director general of Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority, said on Monday [Feb. 13, 2017], adding that the emirate would "spare no effort to launch" autonomous aerial vehicles by July.



For the full story, see:

RUSSELL GOLDMAN. "Dubai Plans Drone Taxis That Skip Drivers and Roads." The New York Times (Weds., FEB. 15, 2017): A7.

(Note: bracketed dates added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date FEB. 14, 2017, and has the title "Dubai Plans a Taxi That Skips the Driver, and the Roads.")






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