In the “Las Vegas of the Middle East” United Arab Emirates hub of Dubai, a flying taxi drone might begin operation in 2018.

A Chinese company called EHang Inc developed the E-184 drone, a one passenger taxi that might later be upgraded with another seat. As long as the regulators of Dubai approve, they should be active next year.

Passengers in the drone select a pre=programmed path for the flight, and the fully-automated navigation built into the craft is all it needs, according to the company’s CEO Hu Huazhi.

The drone can fly at up to 62 miles (100 kilometres) an hour, with the ability to stay in air for 25 minutes according to EHang.

According to Arabian Business:

“It’s currently being tested at EHang’s headquarters: a disused theme-park on the outskirts of Guangzhou, southern China, a city that’s at the vanguard of the country’s push to move away from cheap, low-end manufacturing and toward cutting-edge technology.

EHang has big ambitions — it wants to develop a network of taxi drones around the world. The company plans to sign deals in Saudi Arabia, Singapore and “several European cites” next year, the CEO said.”

This isn’t the only science fiction-type, surreal automated form of transportation currently on the precipice of becoming common.

A Russian firm behind a Dubai police “hoverbike” called Hoversurf is planning to create a 5 seated flying taxi, that looks like this:

According to the Daily Mail:

“”The company also said that the device will help with traffic jams and it will be a ‘solution’ for people’s daily commutes.

‘Do you know the problem with all projects of flying cars?,’ it said ‘They are all made for the future, and are impossible to park at the store or put in a garage. FORMULA – is created for the present day.’

Hoversurf announced that the drone taxis, which they call the ‘transport of the future’, will be available as early as next year, and they said the taxis are safer than ground transportation. The new product is called an ATAAS (Air Transport As A Service), and it features a computer, a security system and a drone signal. It monitors all ground and flying vehicles.

ATAASs can take off from and land in a parking space, and they also feature a digital map of the city and GPS. They can be fueled at an electric charging station or a regular gas station with a hybrid power plant FPE.”

Uber recently announced that it will similarly launch flying taxis in Dubai by 2020. Did you think Uber was still a small business? NASA is helping them with the flying taxis.

It feels like we’re on the precipice of many new technologies becoming widespread. A question people must ask themselves is, what makes you happy? Does a particular piece of technology or aspiring to earn enough money to buy it make you happy or does it not?


Images credit: the Daily Mail, Arabian Business