• The electric flying taxi will transport pilgrims across holy sites, facilitate the swift transfer of medical emergencies and supplies, as well as deliver goods

Saudi Arabia has inaugurated a pioneering self-driving aerial taxi service for pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season.

According to national news agency SPA, the electric flying taxi will deliver commodities, expedite the quick transmission of medical supplies and crises, and transport pilgrims over sacred locations.

The world’s first flying taxi to receive a license from a civil aviation authority is the flying taxi, according to Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistic Services.

On Wednesday, Al-Jasser witnessed the vertical takeoff of the autonomous vehicle during the launch event attended by Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA); Rumaih Al-Rumaih, Deputy Minister of Transport and Logistics Services; and several representatives of related entities.

The minister said the inauguration of the air taxi was part of the efforts to apply the latest future transport technologies and adopt innovative environment-friendly transport models that use artificial intelligence applications.

In line with the objectives of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy, the Kingdom aims to modernize the transport sector through the launch of air taxi technologies, electric cars and hydrogen trains.

Al-Jasser said the ministry is working to enhance smart mobility and develop legislation, laws, and systems that enable the employment of modern technologies.

It also seeks to provide experimental environments to facilitate the expansion of future transport technologies.

GACA’s Al-Duailej said the flying taxi was one of the most significant initiatives of the advanced air mobility roadmap, which aims to reduce passenger travel time within congested areas, especially during emergencies, facilitate the transportation of goods and medical supplies, and complete surveillance and inspection tasks in a speedy manner.

The aerial taxi is among 32 modern technologies applied to serve pilgrims during this year’s Hajj.