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Drone taxi test flight part of Israel's push to move more people, products by air

People take photos inside a drone taxi after a test flight at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
1 of 4 | People take photos inside a drone taxi after a test flight at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Israel's Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday conducted a test flight of an air taxi in Jerusalem as part of a national push to expand the use of the drones and urban flight operations in Israel.

"What we're looking at here is how Israel's National Drone Initiative is expanding its scope to move beyond transporting packages, to transporting human beings," said Daniella Partem, Senior Director at the Israel Innovation Authority. "We are looking to improve the economic viability of this model and advance connectivity in urban areas and further afield around the world."

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Israel launched the drone and UAM (Urban Air Mobility) initiative in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Wednesday test flight was conducted at Hadassah Hospital Ein Karen in Jerusalem.

The drone initiative goal is to develop regulations and a supporting ecosystem to prepare the skies for drone taxi deliveries of both products and people.

The project is a collaboration with international companies to design a system for the use of several drone taxis operating in a dense urban area.

Project partners include Civil Aviation Authority of Israel, Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution Israel, the Ministry Transportation of Israel, Ayalon Highways, the Fuel Choices, and the Smart Mobility Initiative.

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C4IR Israel is the project coordinator as part of the World Economic Forum network.

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