Chinese firm Ehang has already tested personal drones in the U.A.E. city

Imagine leaving your apartment for work on an average Monday morning. You put in your earphones, grab your backpack, and head outside. But instead of hopping on the bus, you watch as a smart car-sized drone appears on the horizon and hovers toward you. Once it lands, you climb in and take off on a short flight to work. That scenario could be reality for residents of Dubai as soon as this summer. Chinese drone-maker Ehang first announced the passenger-capable drones last January, and the vehicle has already made test flights over Dubai in anticipation of a July rollout.

The game-changing drone is called the Ehang 184 because it holds one passenger (up to 220 pounds), has eight rotors (with full redundancy), and four arms.

On a full battery charge, the Ehang 184 can travel about 30 miles in 30 minutes, flying at about 60 miles per hour (though it is capable of speeds up to 100 miles per hour).

This is the latest indication that Dubai intends to be a global showcase for the most advanced transportation technology in the world.

The city already operates a 47-mile driverless subway system and has been testing self-driving cars. Dubai is also exploring the potential for a Hyperloop tunnel to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which is about 90 miles south along the coast of the Persian Gulf.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, announced last year that 25 percent of all journeys in the city would be conducted by driverless vehicles by 2030.

ehang184 over dubai.jpg

Ehang

Imagine leaving your apartment for work on an average Monday morning. You put in your earphones, grab your backpack, and head outside. But instead of hopping on the bus, you watch as a smart car-sized drone appears on the horizon and hovers toward you. Once it lands, you climb in and take off on a short flight to work. That scenario could be reality for residents of Dubai as soon as this summer. Chinese drone-maker Ehang first announced the passenger-capable drones last January, and the vehicle has already made test flights over Dubai in anticipation of a July rollout.