Autonomous Flying Taxis - a solution to urban congestion
Airlines Airbus wanted to build the Autonomous Flying Taxis vehicles that we can see in science fiction movies.
Airbus has announced a new effort to build helicopter-like autonomous flying vehicles to transport both small parcels and, even more radically, passengers. The battery-powered passenger vehicles, currently dubbed CityAirbus, would be summoned by smartphone and travel along aerial urban roadways, constituting a system of robotic flying taxis.
Airbus has been working on the drone-like design for two years, and according to the press release it “could soon become reality without having to wait for too many regulatory changes.” Work there has apparently been underway since February of this year, and the first prototype vehicle will be tested in 2017. Airbus executives say the product could be on the market in as little as ten years.
The biggest obstacle facing the project appears to be the development of a functional “sense-and-avoid” system, presumably to stop the self-flying craft from crashing into fellow commuters, high-rise buildings, birds or other obstacles along its route.
Sharing with multiple users defray the cost, according to airbus, making this a more affordable autonomous ferry service closer to modern public transit options.