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Flying taxis to transport passengers in Moscow in 2018

At first, flying taxis will be available for short distance trips

MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. First self-flying taxis will appear in Moscow as soon as the year 2018 after relevant legislation is approved, the head of the Russian company ATM Freight Drones told TASS on Wednesday.

The company tests unmanned aerial vehicles in a Moscow technology park.

"The theme is rather expansive since it features technical aspects, which we have managed to overcome, and legal aspects as well," Alexander Atamanov said. "We have put forward an initiative to amend the current legislation so that personal drones can be used for transportation of cargoes and passengers. Moscow government’s position is positive but much depends on the federal authorities. So, if we manage to do it, Moscow will become one of the most innovative capital cities in the world. I think that the most positive scenario is one year."

There should be "a narrow echelon of 10-15 meters above the ground, flyovers, underpasses, rivers, and railways where transport goes," he said.

Flying taxis are "tested in fenced areas", in the Moscow and Skolkovo technology parks, he said.

No traffic jams

At first, flying taxis will be available for short distance trips. A special app should be downloaded on the mobile phone to call a flying taxi. Fares are not expected to be higher than the current taxi rates.

High speeds and no traffic jams are main advantages of flying taxis, Atamanov said.

"Firstly, we are not going to have any traffic jams at all. We will not wait for traffic and there will be no traffic lights. Any transportation will be a dozen times quicker that by ground transport," he said. "Secondly, flying over Moscow at a height of five to ten meters is a more pleasant route."

Earlier, Alexei Fursin, the head of the Moscow government’s department for science, industrial policy and entrepreneurship, said that Moscow was creating a flying taxi which would carry people along with regular vehicles. Fursin said that drones would be both self-driving and piloted.