Tourist hot spot signs deal with a 198mph flying taxi company to make flying cars normality next year

They'll go at speeds of up to 320 km/h.
  • Keep your eyes on the skies if you’re in Dubai next year
  • A California-based company has signed a deal to provide the tourist hotspot with flying taxis
  • The eVTOL aircraft will reach incredible speeds

Published on Feb 17, 2024 at 10:07PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Feb 20, 2024 at 1:15PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Kate Bain

Like something from a 1960s sci-fi movie, flying cars will take the skies of Dubai in 2025, as they sign a deal to make flying taxis a common sight.

With the futuristic taxis flying through the air at speeds of up to 320 km/h (200 mph) – it looks like science fiction is set to become a reality.

Joby’s flying taxis are electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

READ MORE! Test-driving the 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost in Dubai

Nixing the need for a long runway makes them perfect for inner city transportation.

At the high speeds expected, a flight from Dubai airport to Palm Jumeirah would take a mere 10 minutes.

The same 30(ish) km journey would take around an hour on the ground.

The flying taxis are powered by six electric motors and have a range of 100 miles before they run out of charge.

The vehicle is designed to carry up to four passengers and a pilot and can fly at speeds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h).

The lucky aviation company to sign the apparently lucrative deal was California-based, Joby Aviation.

And tourists won’t have to wait long for their airborne ride, as the commercial will begin operating in the tourist hotspot next year.

There’s plenty going on in Dubai, including its latest skyscraper that’s going for a new world record and an upcoming mall that customers can drive through in their EVs.

And the eVTOL aren’t the only new transport on the horizon, as Dubai is developing driverless, high-speed pods that run on elevated tracks.

The aircraft in question is designed to carry up to four passengers plus their up-in-the-air Uber pilot.

The unprecedented plan is for the flying taxis to transport tourists from art gallery to malls to dinner – or wherever else their luxury stay takes them.

It will work in a similar way to a taxi service on the ground, with passengers hailing a cab from “ventiports”.

While sticking an arm out to flag the pilot’s attention wouldn’t be doable, customers will book a ride via the company’s air taxi app and buy tickets via their smartphone prior to takeoff.

The contract, signed with the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) agrees to launch air taxi services in the destination by early 2026.

Per MailOnline, a spokesperson has said they want to make the taxis “as accessible as possible” and significantly cheaper than private helicopter rides.

But the company is aiming higher and hopes to begin operations as early as next year.

“It is an honor to work with the Government of Dubai to demonstrate to the world the value of sustainable air travel,” JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation said.

“We look forward to delivering an incredible experience to Dubai residents and visitors as early as 2025, and we are excited to lay the foundation for expanding our service across the UAE.”

Testing of the flying taxis began in October of 2023.

They signed a deal with London-based delivery company, Skysports, to build and operate four “vertiports” dotted conveniently around the vibrant city.

It’s expected these ventiports will crop up at Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Dubai Downtown.

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