It seems like the Dubai police department wants all the toys. It already has a fleet of mesmerizing supercar patrol cars, and now it has begun to test hoverbikes.
Like something straight out of a science-fiction film, the hoverbikes are vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles with four rotors and an electric powertrain. CNN reported last Thursday the Dubai police department will continue tests as it aims to incorporate the hoverbikes into the force. The goal is to form a first-responder unit to reach areas that are difficult to access.
The accompanying video shows a hoverbike in action as the police force gets a crash course in how to operate it, and it sure is wild to watch. The officers will need a plenty of training before they're comfortable enough to zip around on these hoverbikes, though. And those rotors will need to be protected unless the Dubai police want to use them to cut off the hands and feet of potential perps.
The Dubai police are training two crews, and each rider has to have experience riding motorcycles and operating drones.
Dubai has so far only taken delivery of one hoverbike, but the company responsible for production, California-based Hoversurf, said it's ready to build 40 more hoverbike patrol units, though the company is in talks with three companies for manufacturing sites. Hoversurf chief operating officer Joseph Segura-Conn said he will make it happen if the Dubai police want to order more bikes.
Each electric hoverbike costs $150,000 and features carbon-fiber construction for a final weight of 253 pounds. The electric powertrain and four rotors can propel the bike up to 16 feet off of the ground. It's a quick thing, too; Hoversurf claims the contraption, which it calls the S3 2019 Hoverbike, can cruise at speeds up to 60 mph.
But, flight time is seriously limited to only 10 to 25 minutes. A "drone mode" can help the hoverbike operate for up to 40 minutes, however.
Time will tell if Dubai embraces hovercraft as part of its police force, but history shows the emirate doesn't shy away from the cutting edge when it comes to its police force.