Europe, US, are flying cars in 2022. Where is the UAE in all of this?
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Europe, US, are flying cars in 2022. Where is the UAE in all of this?

Europe, US, are flying cars in 2022. Where is the UAE in all of this?

Flying cars were abuzz in 2019 and then COVID-19 hit. Now, the idea is taking off again in Europe and the US, but is the UAE ready as well?

  • Called Air Mobility Urban - Large Experimental Demonstrations, the project will be the largest undertaking of its kind
  • An August 2020 agreement signed in Dubai charted out air corridors for autonomous aerial vehicles
  • Drones for business use in the UAE can take on 100 kg of weight, fly 50 kilometers at 160 km per hour

Flying cars were abuzz in 2019 and then COVID-19 hit. Now, the idea is taking off again in Europe and the US, but is the UAE ready as well? 

Europe gears up for the skies

Japan is only 3 years away from putting flying cars into orbit, but by 2022, we're going to see the largest deployment of air vehicles in urban environments ever. 

Called Air Mobility Urban - Large Experimental Demonstrations (AMU-LED for short), the project will be the largest undertaking of its kind with a consortium of 17 companies and organizations across the United States and Europe. The project takes final form next year with more than 100 hours of air vehicle test flights over cities in the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.

Urban Air Mobility is the catch-all phrase for a new kind of air travel and transport, one that combines state-of-the-art propulsion and battery technologies with advances in robotics, machine vision, and AI.  

Companies such as ANRA Technologies, a drone software company, will participate in the project, which is part of the European Union's Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever with nearly €80 billion ($96 bn) of funding deployed over the past seven years. 

"ANRA Technologies will play a vital role in the AMU-LED project by providing its SmartSkies advanced airspace management and simulation software platforms, says Amit Ganjoo, Founder and CEO." 

The showcase is ambitious, with exercises involving different unmanned aerial systems aimed at demonstrating air taxi operations, cargo transport, delivery of goods and medical equipment, an inspection of infrastructures, police surveillance, and emergency services support.  

Read: Electric vehicles and batteries in the driver seat in 2021. LUCID cars clear launch

Read: Saudi Arabia's THE LINE is a city with "zero cars, zero streets, and zero carbon emissions"

UAE’s drones and flying cars 

An August 2020 agreement signed in Dubai charted out air corridors for autonomous aerial vehicles.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS) will define safety and security protocols of aerial transport within the geographical perimeters of Dubai "through advanced technologies".

The effort supports the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy aimed at transforming 25% of total mobility trips in Dubai into autonomous trips by 2030.

Creating what is called the new Dubai Sky Dome network will include ground stations to be used as drone airports and loading and connecting stations, plus stations for maintenance, operation, and freight stations.  

Back in June 2019, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the signing of an agreement with the German Volocopter Company; a specialist in the manufacturing of Autonomous Air Vehicles. 

Together, they decided to launch the first vehicle capable of carrying two passengers.

Another forthcoming initiative is an integrated smart platform for providing regulatory services for UAVs to use domestic airspace and other related government services. The digital platform will grant instant government permits and no-objection certificates for drone operations.

Drones for business use in the UAE can take on 100 kg of weight, fly 50 kilometers at 160 km per hour and have a battery time of 30 minutes.

Author
Hadi Khatib

Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it. [email protected]

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