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Dubai is rolling out ‘Star Wars’-style police hoverbikes for emergency response services. Cool or scary?

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Dubai has the most advanced police force on Earth. In May this year, it debuted its first autonomous robot police officer. It plans to robotize 25% of its officers by 2030. But that isn’t the only way the Dubai Police Force is trendsetting.

 

Now they’ve got hoverbikes. While the hoverbikes are in their testing stages, it may not be long until Dubai police officers will fly into crime scenes on the Hoversurf Scorpion-3.

The prototype has been built by Russian drone start-up, Hoversurf. The Scorpion-3 is electric-powered and looks like a cross between a motorbike and a drone. It propels officers along on four propellers. From the initial prototype, it looks like riders will be placed alarmingly close to the blades.

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If this all sounds like something that’s too sci-fi to really come about, you’re wrong. Dubai’s police force recently signed an agreement with Hoversurf for an entire fleet of them. Despite this impressive order, it hasn’t stopped some from branding the entire operation “100 percent a publicity stunt.” However, imagine seeing or hearing about the first horseless carriage over 100 years ago. Cars must indeed have seemed like a massive gimmick back then.

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The bikes have reportedly set a world record with their ability to fly at a 93.5 Feet altitude. But for safety reasons, they’ll be programmed to fly at a maximum altitude of 16 feet for the police force. They can go as fast as 44 mph. Additionally, they can also fly without a passenger, meaning that they can be remote controlled to come to the officer, saving minutes of walking time. One major impediment to the current prototype is that its battery only lasts for 20 minutes before having to be recharged for 3 hours.

Dubai police officers have a bit more testing to get through before these things are ready for the streets.

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