Airbus Working on Development of Flying Taxi Drone
The future is coming!by Robert Moore, on
The human species hasn’t really been around very long in the whole scheme of things, and as far as the universe is concerned, we might as well not even exist. That doesn’t change the fact that we are continuing to grow as a species, and as such, our planet is becoming more populated. As our population continues to grow, our cities are becoming more and more crowded. In fact, it is predicted that by 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. With congestion already becoming a problem in metropolitan areas, it’s about time we reinvent the concept of public transit, and Airbus thinks it might have the answer with automated flying taxis.
Apparently, there are a couple of different things going on here. First, Airbus’ Silicon Valley facility is reportedly working on something called Project Vahana that is said to be a single-passenger vehicle. This would be similar to your everyday taxi. Sources indicate that a prototype has already been agreed on and could make its first flight before 2018. The other project is being undertaken by Airbus Helicopters and is known at this time as the CityAirbus. This vehicle would be able to transport a number of people to various locations quickly and efficiently. At first, it will have to be piloted by a human, but could eventually become autonomous in the future.
The best part about both of these vehicles is that they will be all electric and emission free. They will be quiet and should make commuting during busy times a breeze. Jorg Muller, a member of Airbus Group’s corporate development department said, “The market will develop quickly, once we are able to deploy the first vehicles in megacities and [to] demonstrate the benefits of quiet, emission-free air transport at competitive prices.”
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Why it Matters
Of course, we’ve already seen similar ideas in movies in the past, but with a company like Airbus heading up the development, it could very well become a reality. Airbus has, however, expressed that there are some hurdles to overcome. The biggest hurdle will be security. We already know that some cars can be hacked and remotely taken over, so security on large, quiet drones flying over the city has to be taken seriously. Just imagine the carnage that could be caused if someone managed to take over large drones in the sky – it’s a scary thought. Airbus has even said that it’s not sure if a hackproof security system can be built, which almost seems like it will be a necessity if something like this will ever happen.
The other thing that comes to mind for me is how overbearing this may be to air traffic control and how things like landing pads will be integrated into the cities of the future. Air traffic control could, in theory, create a smaller entity that would handle drone traffic under a certain altitude. That would at least keep these drones on a tight leash. As for landing pads they could be placed on the top of buildings, much like helicopter pads are today. If more people take to the air in the future, it could open up a lot of parking space as well, which could be another solution. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but I’m sure looking forward to where this goes. We’ve seen stuff like local air travel on TV programs for years, and I think it is something that will come to fruition at one point or another – it just all depends on when we’re ready.
Another thing to take into consideration is what this might do for the transport of goods. We already have Amazon doing drone deliveries in some areas, and recently Domino’s unveiled a delivery robot that could bring pizza and other yumminess to our front door. Using something like an automated, low-level drone to deliver goods could significantly cut back on the time it takes to deliver items to consumers. Automated drones could eventually take over over-the-road deliveries. What do you think about all of this? Is it a good idea, or are we far from ready for automated public transit in the sky? Let me know in the comments section below.