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Human-carrying drones from July, says RTA chief

|By Arabian Post Staff| Human carrying drones are expected to be introduced into service within the public transport system by July 2017, Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, announced at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

The future of transportation, specifically the impending arrival of autonomous cars, was a major topic at the second day of the summit, attended by 4,000 global leaders from 139 countries in Dubai.

The announcement about the human carrying drones was made just before a session with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who stressed that the introduction of driverless cars will result in 12-15 percent job loss. “We need to find new roles for those people” as increased manufacturing of autonomous cars will be “very disruptive and very quick,” Musk said.

In an earlier conversation on “The Future of Mobility” with Travis Kalanick, CEO and co-founder of Uber, he predicted roads will be populated with self-driving automobiles, eliminating traffic jams in as few as 5 years. He also said that 1.3 million individuals die annually from car accidents. “There will be no more traffic accidents” with self-driving cars.”

Uber will continue to evolve, Kalanick said. “We will partner with the car industry. We want cars to be available everywhere every time efficient, quick, reliable, affordable, and fully democratized. Push a button and go where you want to go.” (Last month, Uber announced a partnership with Daimler to manufacture autonomous cars.)

His three year vision is ambitious: “Uber is at the beginning of becoming a robotics company,” Kalanick commented. “Once movement in cities becomes autonomous, there will be all sorts of interesting robotics challenges.”

Musk also sounded a cautionary note to governments as technology continues to improve efficiency, saying a “universal basic income” will be necessary as there will be “fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better.”

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