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Air taxis: Shape of things to come in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai will create an air corridor to step up formulation of regulations related to autonomous air vehicles, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Tuesday following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Air Navigation Services (Dans).

An air corridor is a defined airway or route where autonomous aerial vehicles fly from a specified location to another at a pre-defined altitude. It is vital in developing the physical and virtual infrastructure needed for a full spectrum of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drone services.

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RTA said the signing of the MoU was part of its strategy “to exchange expertise with government and semi-government entities sharing common objectives”.

“The MoU also calls for charting out air corridors for air vehicles and stepping up the safety and security of the aerial transport system within the geographical perimeters of Dubai through the use of advanced technologies,” said Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency and head of the Autonomous Air Vehicle Project Team at the RTA.

Specialist workshops

He added: “The MoU aims to step up cooperation in studying laws related to autonomous air vehicles, participate in specialist workshops held by either party and coordinate efforts in R&D (research and development) and innovations in relevant fields.”

Bahrozyan also noted that RTA and Dans had “pledged to facilitate the procedures and share information about specialist and advanced firms, test programmes and the specifications of take-off and landing sites for autonomous air vehicles among others”.

‘Strategic drive’

Ibrahim Ahli, deputy CEO at DANS, said: “We are thrilled to partner with RTA and look forward to supporting the strategic drive of our leaders in the fields of smart mobility and autonomous vehicles. Dans will harness its resources and expertise to serve Dubai’s future strategy in the field of smart air transport.

“Autonomous air vehicles are a key component of the vision of the UAE and Dubai and engaging in this cooperation will bolster their ability to anticipate the future requirements worldwide,” continued Ahli.

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By 2030, Dubai is aiming to transform 25 per cent of its total mobility trips to become autonomous or driverless. The RTA was among the first in the world to conduct test flights for flying taxis with autonomous aerial vehicle developers EHang and Volocopter.

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