Israel tests first autonomous drone taxi

RNS: Israel has embarked on its maiden series of trials for autonomous passenger and cargo drones in a pioneering move to mitigate traffic gridlock.

The maiden air taxi tests were launched in the second stage of the Israel National Drone Initiative (INDI). The project witnessed 11 significant drone delivery and operation firms collaborating, performing experimental flights and tests across the nation last week.

The INDI is an ambitious venture initiated by the Israeli government. It strives to create a comprehensive drone network nationwide, aiming to transform the country’s delivery mechanisms.

Among the tested drones over the previous week was Israel’s homegrown AIR ZERO, capable of transporting up to two passengers and carrying a total payload of up to 220 kilograms for a distance spanning up to 160 kilometres.

According to the media reports, additional companies, including Dronery, Cando Drones, and Down Wind, also held trial flights with their self-operating drones.

In the coming two years, the firms involved in the project will execute test flights around the country once a week every month. These flights, conducted in regulated airspace, will cover distances of up to 150 kilometres (93 miles) and will involve more substantial payloads.

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