Fleet of Volocopter driverless flying taxis will begin test flights over Singapore next YEAR to help commuters dodge traffic jams

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The vehicles resemble small helicopters and are powered by 18 ‘quiet’ rotors
They are based on drone technology and can fly two people for around 19 miles
The Singapore tests follow a public demonstration in Dubai last year

A fleet of 60-mile-per-hour (100 kph) driverless flying taxis will begin test flights over Singapore next year to help commuters dodge monster traffic jams.

The vehicles resemble small helicopters and are powered by 18 rotors designed to spin ‘especially quietly’ to cut noise pollution.

German start-up Volocopter announced it will conduct the test flights in Singapore in the second half of 2019 with the support of the government.

Its ‘Volocopters’ are based on drone technology and can fly two people for around 19 miles (30 kilometres), the firm said in a statement.

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Pictures is an artist’s impression of a Volocopter over New York. A fleet of the 60-mile-per-hour (100 kph) driverless flying taxis will begin test flights over Singapore next year to help commuters dodge monster traffic jams

The Singapore tests follow a public demonstration in Dubai last year.

‘The Volocopter is designed specifically for inner city missions,’ Volocopter said in a statement, adding it can withstand minor turbulence around skyscrapers, allowing for smooth rides.

‘It is so quiet that at a flight height of 330 feet (100 metres), it cannot be heard over the typical background noise of a city.’

Volocopter’s electric air taxis take off and land vertically.

The Stuttgart-based firm claims its urban system could eventually handle up to 10,000 passengers each day.

Its ambitious involves installing circular launchpads on the roofs of skyscrapers.

The electric aircraft would collect passengers and take off and land from these pads, as well as recharge its batteries and undergo maintenance work.

The launchpads would have a conveyor belt that would transport the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft into an indoor hanger.

From there, they would moved to a garage where maintenance work can be carried out.

The Volocopter electric air taxi takes off and lands vertically and can carry two passengers for around 30 kilometres (19 miles)

The vehicles resemble small helicopters powered by 18 rotors that are designed to spin ‘especially quietly’ to cut noise pollution

The system would be so efficient the company claims 1,000 passengers could board and disembark every hour.

A company spokeswoman said the Volocopter can be controlled by a pilot using a joystick, or remotely from the ground.

Apart from the test flights, Volocopter will also set up a product design and engineering centre in Singapore to support its expansion plans.

Volocopter said they are getting ready to roll out their first fixed routes in cities.

German start-up Volocopter announced it will conduct the test flights in Singapore in the second half of 2019 with the support of the government

A company spokeswoman said the Volocopter can be controlled by a pilot using a joystick, or remotely from the ground

The hover-taxis will complement helicopter-hailing services which are already taking off in some cities to beat traffic jams.

Millions of commuters in Asia’s cities have to contend with chronic gridlock every day, sparking a race to develop new ways to avoid the snarl-ups.

While Singapore does not suffer major congestion, it is seen as a perfect test-bed for new technologies due to its compact size and openness to innovation.