Wait, what year is this?
As the unofficial world’s most futuristic city, Dubai sure loves the attention it gets from employing cutting-edge tech such as 3D-printed buildings, hovertaxis, or this incredible Mars simulation city.
Now Dubai’s police force, already equipped with little autonomous robocops, is getting another leg up in the law enforcement race with incredibly cool, and somewhat dangerous-looking hoverbikes.
These airborne police officers will be using the Hoversurf Scorpion-3, a hoverbike prototype built by a Russian drone start-up and revealed earlier this year.
The electric-powered Scorpion-3 looks like a cross between a motorcycle and a quadcopter drone. Flying aloft on these, police officers in Dubai will be able to sound like a swarm of very angry bees as they fly across traffic to their next emergency.
The new technology to be employed by the city’s police was revealed at Gitex 2017, an international technology showcase currently happening at Dubai World Trade Centre.
As Saif Salem Al Kaabi from the Technical Innovation Section at Dubai Police explained to Gulf News, the hoverbike demonstrated at the showcase is still a prototype, and the police force has signed an agreement with the Hoversurf developers to produce a whole fleet.
The bikes will be programmed to fly at a maximum altitude of five metres (16.4 feet), and on one charge the electric motor can carry a person for 25 minutes at a maximum speed of 70 km/h (44 mph).
According to a Facebook post by Hoversurf CEO Alexander Atamanov, these hoverbikes have actually set a world record at a 28.5 metre altitude (that’s 93.5 feet). But as Al Kaabi explained to Gulf News, for safety reasons the officers will be constrained to travel at just five metres (16.3 feet), which seems fair enough.
Before letting these piloted quadcopters loose on the streets, Dubai police will first be doing more testing to decide on the best situations for their use.
The thinking is that hoverbikes could come in handy in areas where it’s hard for the police to reach with regular vehicles, or in emergencies to fly above traffic congestions.
If you haven’t seen one of these hoverbikes in action, Hoversurf have footage of the vehicle’s first public flight at the Moscow raceway:
After watching that we certainly feel like the future is, well, here.