Chinese startup eyes Saudi Arabia, Dubai for ‘flying taxi’ rollout

The E-184 drone, which is powered by four propellors, has a cruising speed of up to 100 kilometers per hour. (EHang)
Updated 24 November 2017
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Chinese startup eyes Saudi Arabia, Dubai for ‘flying taxi’ rollout

LONDON: Transport by taxi drone could soon be part of everyday life in Dubai after a Chinese startup told Bloomberg it aims to roll out flying cars in the emirate next year.
EHang Inc. is also eying Saudi Arabia as a potential market, it was reported.
The company has already developed a one-passenger drone and is now working on a larger two-seater model that is currently being tested at the company’s headquarters, located at a disused theme park in Guangzhou, southern China.
The E-184 drone, which is powered by four propellors, has a cruising speed of up to 100 kilometers per hour and a flight time of up to 25 minutes before the battery must be recharged.
Passengers in the fully-automated drones select a pre-programmed flight path to reach their destination then sit back and enjoy the view.
The company hopes to roll out the taxi drones in Dubai as early as next year, subject to regulator approval, and plans to embark on an ambitious mass production plan to reach markets in Saudi Arabia, Singapore and several European cities.
In February, EHang announced its partnership with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority with the shared aim of developing the world’s most intelligent transport system.
On its website, EHang describes the E-184 as “the safest, smartest and eco-friendly low-altitude autonomous aerial vehicle.”
Powered by electricity, it is made with 100-percent green technology and is designed to land immediately at the closest possible location in case of malfunction.


German industry groups warn US on tariffs before Trump-Juncker meeting

Updated 22 July 2018
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German industry groups warn US on tariffs before Trump-Juncker meeting

  • Washington imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico on June 1
  • Trump is threatening to extend them to EU cars and car parts

BERLIN: German industry groups warned on Sunday, before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker meets US President Donald Trump this week, that tariffs the United States has imposed or is threatening to introduce risk harming America itself.
Citing national security grounds, Washington imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico on June 1 and Trump is threatening to extend them to EU cars and car parts. Juncker will discuss trade with Trump at a meeting on Wednesday.
“The tariffs under the guise of national security should be abolished,” Dieter Kempf, head of Germany’s BDI industry association said. Juncker should tell Trump that the United States would harm itself with tariffs on cars and car parts, he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
The German auto industry employed more than 118,000 people in the United States and 60 percent of what they produced was exported. “Europe should not let itself be blackmailed and should put in a confident appearance in the United States,” he added.
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio on Sunday he hoped it was still possible to find a solution that was attractive to both sides. “For us, that means we stand by open markets and low tariffs,” he said
He said the possibility of US tariffs on EU cars was very serious and stressed that reductions in international tariffs in the last 40 years and the opening of markets had resulted in major benefits for citizens.
EU officials have tried to lower expectations about what Juncker can achieve, and played down suggestions that he will arrive in Washington with a novel plan to restore good relations.
Altmaier said it was difficult to estimate the impact of any US car tariffs on the German economy, but added: “Tariffs on aluminum and steel had a volume of just over six billion euros. In this case we would be talking about almost ten times that.”
He said he hoped job losses could be avoided but noted that trade between Europe and the United States made up around one third of total global trade.
“You can imagine that if we go down with a cold in the German-American or European-American relationship, many others around us will get pneumonia so it’s highly risky and that’s why we need to end this conflict as quickly as possible.”
Eric Schweitzer, president of the DIHK Chambers of Commerce, told Welt am Sonntag the German economy had for decades counted on open markets and a reliable global trading system but added: “Every day German companies feel the transatlantic rift getting wider.”