If you still think we’re centuries away from seeing flying vehicles and driverless cars, then a new initiative in Dubai could soon prove you wrong.
The city recently announced that people will be able to get around using unmanned aerial vehicles — otherwise known as drones — as early as this July. Each vehicle can fit one person of up to 220 pounds and a small suitcase. The battery life lasts for about 30 minutes, allowing it to travel within 24 to 31 miles.
To use the vehicles, a passenger simply needs to get in, buckle his or her seatbelt and select a destination on the screen. A separate command center is charged with keeping tabs on the vehicles during flights.
This isn’t just a small initiative either. The government hopes to make 25 percent of all trips within Dubai driverless by 2030. So the city is also testing other initiatives like 10-seat electric driverless shuttles.
A Chinese company called Ehang is responsible for creating the unmanned aerial vehicles used in Dubai. They initially unveiled the product at the Consumer Electronics Conference last year.
Of course, this isn’t the first company to make a drone or an autonomous vehicle. But they did score a major win in partnering with Dubai, a city that is clearly committed to being an early adopter of this technology.
Innovation Requires Early Adopters of Technology
And that’s something that other businesses both large and small should learn as well. Creating innovative new products is a great goal, but you have to also be able to find early adopters of technology who are willing to take a risk on these brand new products.