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Saudi Arabia Tests Driverless Air Taxis for Haj Pilgrims

Saudi Arabia Tests Driverless Air Taxis for Haj Pilgrims

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia began testing a driverless air taxi to transport pilgrims between holy sites during the Haj season, marking a historic first as the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority licensed an air taxi, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The innovative air taxis will serve multiple purposes, including shuttling Haj pilgrims, facilitating emergency travel, and transporting medical equipment and goods.

Initiated by Saleh Al Jasser, the Minister of Transport and Logistics Services, the trial is part of a plan announced in January. Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) is set to operate these air taxis, which aim to carry 4-6 passengers at a time between King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and various hotels in Makkah.

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This initiative aims to enhance the transportation experience for Haj pilgrims, making travel between key locations quicker and more efficient, thus reducing travel time and alleviating ground congestion. The introduction of driverless air taxis represents a significant technological advancement in Saudi Arabia‚Äôs transport sector and aligns with the country’s Vision 2030 plan to diversify its economy and reduce dependence on oil by investing in sectors like transportation and technology.

As the trial progresses, it will provide valuable insights into the feasibility and efficiency of using driverless air taxis for large-scale public transportation. If successful, this could pave the way for the broader implementation of similar technologies worldwide, potentially revolutionizing the future of urban mobility.