This just in from the Alarming Ideas Bureau: Officials in the city of Dubai have announced that the world's first passenger drone air taxis will begin commercial flights this summer.
Attentive readers may remember the passenger drone demo model that flipped everyone out at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. Dubbed the EHang 184 Personal Flying Vehicle (FPV), it's basically a supersized quadcopter, and is in fact manufactured by the same Chinese company that makes the Ghost line of hobby drones.
At the World Government Summit this week, Dubai's Road and Transportation Authority declared that the city will begin offering an aerial taxi service this summer using the EHang drone. According to reports out of Dubai - and the frankly bananas promotional video (below) - the flying taxi will have a range of about 40-50 kilometers (25-30 miles) with 30 minutes of flight time on a single battery charge.
Passenger capacity is rather limited, as you might expect. The Dubai EHang model can carry "100 kilograms and a small suitcase" - that's around 220 pounds - and any passenger would need to contort a bit to squeeze into the small cabin space depicted in the video. Top speed is around 100 mph, although typical speeds will be around 60 mph, according to officials.