Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha yesterday (9 January) said that the ministry was actively considering the possibility of an ‘air rickshaw’ concept based on drones to transport people, reports the Hindustan Times. He was addressing the City Data for India Conclave in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.
He said that a recent survey showed that the cost of travelling by air was the same as the cost of flying by auto-rickshaws. He however, did not give a time-frame as to when these services would be available.
Air rickshaw based on drone technology can be the best transportation service in the country and the ministry is drafting regulations in this regard. To cover one kilometre distance by an auto, city residents pay only around Rs 4. This was nearly the same amount one pays to travel one kilometre by air, the flight ticket amount is high as several thousand kilometers are being covered during one journey.Jayant Sinha
He added that pilot projects in air service using drones have been operational in the United Arab Emirates and Germany and the technology could have additional uses in mapping, security, defence, surveying mineral sites and delivery services.
Flying taxis have been in the talks for a while now. In November 2017, ride-sharing leader Uber had announced a tie-up with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States to jointly develop its flying taxi concept. Around the same time, it was reported that aircraft charter companies were planning to offer their services on a model similar to ride-sharing.
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