|09 April, 2018

Salik-free flying taxis may be a cheaper mobility option in Dubai by 2020

A flying taxi is currently displayed at the Future Cities Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre until Wednesday.

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (2nd R) stands in front of the flying taxi in Dubai, United Arab Emirates September 25, 2017.

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (2nd R) stands in front of the flying taxi in Dubai, United Arab Emirates September 25, 2017.

REUTERS/Satish Kumar

Can we soon experience riding a safer, faster and cheaper flying taxi in Dubai by 2020? It could be a possibility according to Vimana Global, developer of a blockchain-based Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aerial autonomous vehicle (AAV). A second generation of their AAV or flying taxi is currently displayed at the Future Cities Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre until Wednesday.

"We have been developing this flying taxi for the last five years and currently we are negotiating with governments of four smart cities, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo and Singapore," Kirill Nikolaev, board member at Vimana Global, told Khaleej Times on Monday.

"We conduct weekly test flights and the public flight will happen in the next few months," he added.

"Our objective is to offer safer, faster and cheaper taxi ride," said Nikolaev, adding: "At present, if you take a taxi from Dubai to Sharjah, there is an automatic additional fare when you cross the border. But with the flying taxi, we are talking about shared air space - there is no extra charge and there is no Salik - therefore the fare will come cheaper, especially if you also consider the time you spend on the road."

Nikolaev said they are at a stage of concluding their investment round and soon an agreement will be signed with any of the four smart cities, with Dubai and Tokyo being the front runners.

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