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Saudi launches world's first licensed self-driving aerial taxi for Hajj pilgrims

Saudi launches worlds first licensed self-driving aerial taxi for Hajj pilgrims

Saudi Arabia has introduced a self-driving aerial taxi service for this year’s Hajj season, aiming to revolutionize pilgrim transport and emergency response.

The electric flying taxi, the first in the world to be licensed by a civil aviation authority, will transport pilgrims across holy sites, facilitate swift medical emergency transfers, and deliver goods, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistic Services, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, inaugurated the service. He witnessed the vertical takeoff of the autonomous vehicle at a launch event attended by key officials, including Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), and Rumaih Al-Rumaih, Deputy Minister of Transport and Logistics Services.

Al-Jasser highlighted that this initiative aligns with the National Transport and Logistics Strategy, which focuses on modernizing the transport sector through advanced technologies like air taxis, electric cars, and hydrogen trains. He emphasized the ministry's commitment to enhancing smart mobility and developing the necessary legislation to support these innovations.

GACA’s Al-Duailej noted the flying taxi's role in the advanced air mobility roadmap, which aims to reduce travel time in congested areas, especially during emergencies. The aerial taxi is one of 32 modern technologies deployed to serve pilgrims during this year’s Hajj, demonstrating Saudi Arabia's dedication to leveraging innovative solutions for improved pilgrim experiences.

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