Drone taxi takes first test spin in Israel, could ease traffic congestion.

In a groundbreaking development aimed at alleviating traffic congestion, Israel has commenced its first series of tests for autonomous drones designed to carry passengers and cargo, Times of Israel reported.

The Israeli government launched the Israel National Drone Initiative (INDI), an ambitious pilot project aimed at establishing a comprehensive national drone network and revolutionizing the country’s delivery system. This innovative venture – a collaborative effort between the transportation ministry, the Israel innovation authority, Ayalon Highways Limited, and the civil aviation authority of Israel (CAAI) – marks a historic milestone as it introduces cutting-edge technology to the Jewish state for the first time.

”This is the first initiative of its kind in the world for an extensive and multidisciplinary examination of new technologies, including the transportation of cargo and later, people. The collaborative project examines all the aspects – including regulation and legislative changes – involved in the commercial operation of drones, as an additional tool to deal with congestion,” transportation minister Miri Regev was quoted as saying by The Times of Israel.

The air taxis launched were part of the second phase of the INDI project, and saw participation of 11 prominent drone operating and delivery companies in a series of tests and experimental flights across Israel last week.

Among the drones tested over the past week was AIR ZERO, manufactured in Israel, which can accommodate up to two passengers and a total payload of up to 220 kilograms for a distance of up to 160 kilometers. Dronery, Cando Drones, and Down Wind also conducted test flights with autonomous drones.

Over the next two years, the companies participating in the initiative will conduct test flights across the country for one week each month. These flights will take place in controlled airspace, will cover distances of up to 150 kilometres (93 miles) and will involve heavier payloads.

According to the National Drone Project, over 19,000 sorties have been flown in the past three years.

”Israel is one of the global leaders in this field, and today’s experiment is an important milestone in the National Drone Initiative which gained international acclaim,” said IAA Director-General Dror Bin.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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