Chinese firm tests electric flying taxi in Dubai

Chinese firm tests electric flying taxi in Dubai
A XPeng X2, an electric flying taxi developed by the Guangzhou-based XPeng, Inc's aviation affiliate, is tested in front of the Marina District in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. Monday’s demonstration was held with an empty cockpit, but the company says it carried out a manned flight test last year of the two-passenger vehicle. Credit: AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili

A Chinese firm tested out an electric flying taxi in Dubai on Monday, offering a glimpse of futuristic technology that could one day whisk people through cities high above any traffic.

The XPeng X2, developed by the Guangzhou-based XPeng Inc's aviation affiliate, is one of dozens of flying car projects around the world. Only a handful have been successfully tested with passengers on board, and it will likely be many years before any are put into service.

Monday's demonstration was held with an empty cockpit, but the says it carried out a manned flight test in July 2021.

The sleekly designed vehicle can carry two passengers and is powered by a set of eight propellers. The company says it has a top speed of 130 kilometers (80 miles) per hour.

Unlike and , eVTOL, or "electric vertical takeoff and landing," vehicles offer quick point-to-point personal travel, at least in principle.

  • Chinese firm tests electric flying taxi in Dubai
    A XPeng X2, an electric flying taxi developed by the Guangzhou-based XPeng, Inc's aviation affiliate, is tested in front of the Marina District in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. Monday’s demonstration was held with an empty cockpit, but the company says it carried out a manned flight test last year of the two-passenger vehicle. Credit: AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili
  • Chinese firm tests electric flying taxi in Dubai
    A man looks at the XPeng X2, an electric flying taxi developed by the Guangzhou-based XPeng, Inc's aviation affiliate, being tested in front of the Marina District in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. Monday’s demonstration was held with an empty cockpit, but the company says it carried out a manned flight test last year of the two-passenger vehicle. Credit: AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili
  • Chinese firm tests electric flying taxi in Dubai
    People look at the XPeng X2, an electric flying taxi developed by the Guangzhou-based XPeng, Inc's aviation affiliate, being tested in front of the Marina District in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. Monday’s demonstration was held with an empty cockpit, but the company says it carried out a manned flight test last year of the two-passenger vehicle. Credit: AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili

The pilot-less vehicles could one day ferry passengers across town high above congested roadways. But the sector still faces major challenges, including , air traffic control and safety, and infrastructure issues.

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