A number of companies all over the globe are in a race to create the ultimate transport drone. Brands manufacturing these drones boast of longer flight time, fuel efficiency, as well as complete automation.
Every company in the planet wants to be the first to break through the glass ceiling of travel. The next stage of transportation is but a fingertip away.
Taxi Drone to the Future:
The company Airbus for instance has been in their initial phases for their autonomous air taxi drone. The drone project is far from being complete, however it has shown promise. Spearheaded by Airbus’s Vahana team, the drone taxi hovered at 16 feet above the ground in the test runs.
It is still far from complete, but it does paint a picture of what the future of travel looks like. The drone flew to coordinates without an operator standing by, checking autonomy on the list. It also flew in its first trials at around 53 seconds before needing to land.
The Vahana Taxi Drone, designed by Airbus, consists of only one compartment for a single passenger. The taxi drone is similar in design to a helicopter, except on the outside instead of one large propeller, it has eight small ones.
Autonomy at its Finest:
The process of using these taxi drones seems simple enough. You just have to input the destination and the drone will do the rest. Autonomy is still one of the biggest priorities, with fuel efficiency and distance coming close second.
The end goal for Airbus and Vahana is a near future where hailing a cab is as simple as pressing a button. And instead of waiting for available taxi cabs in busy intersections, one simply waits for an available drone to land near them.
Road traffic and being stuck in jams will also be a thing of the past. Air travel will make trips far shorter.
Vahana’s priority statement emphasizes on “democratize personal flight”. This may be what’s in store for major cities worldwide in the near future.
Like the Ehang 184 transport drone from China, these transport drones are still in their early stages of development. All we can do is wait for now. Technology is slowly – but surely – going through the realm of fantasy. The long distance future in fiction may be closer than you think.