If you have driven on the roads in Israel, particularly during holidays or in the past decades, you are likely aware that they are notoriously slow and depressing. However, this week marks the first time that Israel is operating an autonomous taxi in the skies as the National Drone Project launches an experiment in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation, the Innovation Authority, Ayalon Routes and the Civil Aviation Authority. The experiment involves the operation of air taxis, which are electric vertical takeoff and landing aircrafts that can carry passengers and cargo.
During the experiment, 11 drone companies and supporting companies operated eVTOLs, including Cando Drones, which used the EH-216 to carry up to 220 kilograms for 30 kilometers; Israeli Air that operated the Air Zero, which can carry up to 250 kg for up to 160 kilometers; and Downwind, which managed to break the project’s record with a flight of around 29 kilometers between Hillel Yaffe Hospital and Rambam Medical Center. The experiment also examined flights for the transportation of goods from branches of “Yohannoff” and “Rami Levy.” TAI is simultaneously examining the possibilities of landing such aircraft in the centers of Israeli cities.
This current experiment builds upon the second phase that already began last January, which involves an investment of about $60 million over the next two years to conduct more experiments with additional tools that can transport people and goods through the airways. In the previous phase, dozens of drones were activated simultaneously in the skies of the center of the country, including flights of small goods. The National Drone Project’s goal is to continue operating such and other flights for one week each month in managed airspace for the next two years.
While the feasibility of this concept is still being tested, do not expect it to alleviate traffic in the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday or any time soon. The United States-based company, United, has recently announced plans to operate a fleet of drones in 2025 to transport passengers from downtown Chicago to the airport in 10 minutes.
If you drove on the roads in Israel during the last holiday or, to be honest, in the last decades, you probably already know that these are less highways and more slow and depressing crawling roads – but this week it may be that when you stand in traffic and look at the sky, you will be able to see a new experiment in Israel that for the first time operates an autonomous taxi in the skies of Israel.
The experiment goes up a step
The person responsible for the new experiment is the National Drone Project (in collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation, the Innovation Authority, Ayalon Routes and the Civil Aviation Authority), which this week began the first experiment of operating air taxis in the skies of Israel. As part of the experiment, 11 drone companies and supporting companies operated eVTOLs, which are aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing. Or in other words, drones, but really big ones that can also accommodate passengers and cargo.
Among other things, aircraft of the Cando Drones dronery company were used, which took off with the EH-216, which can carry up to 220 kilograms for a range of about 30 kilometers; Also the Israeli Air company that operated Air Zero, which is able to carry up to 250 kg for a distance of up to 160 kilometers; in the national project they claim that the Downwind company managed to break the record of the project with a flight of about 29 kilometers between Hillel Yaffe hospital and Ramb” M. In addition, flights in which goods were flown from branches of “Yohannoff” and “Rami Levy” were examined. TAI is simultaneously examining the possibilities of landing such aircraft in the centers of Israeli cities.
In the previous chapters: Knapa and small goods
The second phase of the experiment began last January and also includes an investment of about 60 million dollars for the next two years, in the framework of which more experiments will be carried out with additional tools that will be able to carry people and goods on airways. Recall that in the first stage of the experiment, Dozens of drones were activated simultaneously in the skies of the center of the countrywhen, among other things, flights of small goods were also tested – and so on We ordered a knapa from Jaffa and received it via drone directly to North Tel Aviv in 7 minutes. According to the National Drone Project, in the past 3 years over 19,000 sorties have been made, and in the next two years companies will continue to operate such and other flights for one week each month in managed airspace, but in a spread of up to 150 kilometers.
In the meantime, of course, this is a tool test that tries to test the feasibility of this concept in Israel, so don’t expect it to save you the traffic jams of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah, or the next or the one after that. Very recently, in the United States, a company United announced that it already plans to operate such a fleet of drones in 2025 To be able to take you from downtown Chicago to the airport in 10 minutes.