Dubai considers delaying the roll out of its flying taxi service



  • Flying taxi’s are great, but like any other responsible country Dubai wants to make sure they meet all the safety standards before they’re rolled out


Dubai is rapidly transforming itself into an Emirate that is embracing the future at full tilt, and early in May during my presentation to at Dubai’s IAICC Innovation Conference the excitement about Dubai’s forthcoming flying taxis service, which was announced earlier this year, was palpable.


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However, on Monday Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said it will not commence commercial service of the service until it gets its safety certification – hopefully it won’t take too long, I know how many of you are champing at the bit to go and take a ride.

Earlier this month, the RTA, in collaboration with China’s Ehang, also announced that it had carried the first test run of an autonomous aerial vehicle capable of carrying a human and would put it in operation by July.

“Safety is our priority. The flying cars need to be certified before we put them into commercial operations,” Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of RTA, said after launching the 2017-2021 digital strategy, “we are working on the certification process and have set up a committee. We hope to launch the service on a limited basis by July only if the certification procedure is completed and it is 100 percent safe,” he added.


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The RTA is also in talks with UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the federal, autonomous body set up to oversee aviation related activities in the country, for completion of the certification process.

The driverless flying taxis are part of Dubai government’s 2030 initiative, unveiled in April 2016, which aims to have 25 percent of the Emirate’s transport to be autonomous by 2030 and generate economic revenues and savings of up to $5.99 billion (AED22 billion) a year.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.


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