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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Emergence of the Drone Taxi

Now serious it seems.  First in crowded Asian cities.

Hover-taxi whizzes over Singapore, firm eyes Asian push   by Martin Abbugao in Techxplore

A drone-like flying taxi whirred over Singapore's waterfront Tuesday, with the firm behind the test hoping the aircraft will revolutionise travel in traffic-choked Asian cities.

The 18 propeller vehicle, developed by German firm Volocopter and with a pilot onboard during the test flight, took off from a promontory and flew for about two minutes and 30 seconds around the Marina Bay district.

Heavy rains in the morning almost delayed the flight, but the skies cleared in time for the battery-operated, two-seater taxi to quietly fly past skyscrapers.

While the hover-taxis—resembling small helicopters but powered by drone-like technology—can fly autonomously, there was a pilot aboard during the test for safety reasons.

Volocopter has already tested the aircraft in Dubai, Helsinki, Germany and Las Vegas but the Singapore trial is the first in the heart of a city.  ... " 

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