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12 Nov 2018

Dubai Police start training on flying motorbikes

The flying motorbike is back in Dubai -- and you could see the police riding one in the not-too-distant future.

A year after California-based startup Hoversurf showcased its hoverbike at tech expo GITEX in the white and green livery of the Dubai Police, the company has returned with a new model and evidence its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle might be, well, taking off.

Making good on a deal signed in 2017, Hoversurf has now gifted Dubai Police its first serial production unit of the S3 2019 Hoverbike and has begun training officers to fly it.

Brigadier Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, general director of Dubai Police's artificial intelligence department, described the eVTOL vehicle as a first responder unit used to access hard to reach areas.

He said he aims to have hoverbikes in action by 2020.

"Currently we have two crews already training (to pilot the hoverbike) and we're increasing the number," he told CNN. Hoversurf chief operating officer Joseph Segura-Conn explained that ideal candidates will be able to ride a motorcycle and have drone operating experiences.

Video of one officer learning to pilot the hoverbike appeared online last month.

Segura-Conn said Dubai Police have exclusive rights to order as many units as they want: "They're going to let us know in the next month or two if they'd like any more ... If they would like 30 or 40, we'll make it happen for them."

If you're not a member of the force and have a spare $150,000, the hoverbike could still be yours.

Orders are open to civilians, but Segura-Conn cautions that buyers are screened to ensure they can handle the new tech. In the US, the hoverbike has met Federal Aviation Administration guidelines which mean you do not need a pilot's license to fly the vehicle.

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