The American aircraft manufacturing company Boeing has recently unveiled data from their latest taxi drone attempt. The drone, like similar competitors, requires no driver and can carry up to two people. The autonomous nature of the drone makes it a great space-saving feature, decreasing the maximum weight allotment. It also adds to privacy during rides, leaving the passengers to themselves without any third party to drive around with.
Taxi Drone Designs
Another similar feature for most taxi drones in development is the vertical takeoff ability. This means that for both landing and taking off, the flying vehicle (the size of a car) does not require long runways or large, empty spaces. The vertical takeoff feature is something most people imagine when thinking of futuristic travel. Being able to fly without needing large spaces to maneuver makes it a viable form of daily transportation.
In fact, in the future researchers and manufacturers alike hope that these flying transport drones replace cars entirely. However, at this point in time, that is still a faraway dream. Getting the drone to fly seamlessly while carrying passengers is trickier than you might think. In the air, you not only have to worry about the four directions to turn to. You also have to worry about elevation, as well as avoiding aerial obstacles. Not to mention the fact that manufacturing a fully functioning taxi drone can cost upwards of $200,000 to start with.
Boeing Taxi Drone
While having a private car comes at a similar cost, there are still factors that can increase its price. Maintenance costs, repairs in case of damage and even upgrades can edge the total price tag to close to a million.
The Boeing taxi drone prototype actually took flight, clearing a few objectives. The drone runs on a battery capable of flying 50 miles (80 kilometers) on a single run. The drone displayed a perfect takeoff and hover, which is a start.
With other companies like Uber, Intel, and even Facebook vying for the taxi drone creation, Boeing needs to act fast. Smaller companies also aim to be the one to create the fully functioning transport drone that people can use. Many of them have started test flights, but none have achieved that ‘one hundred percent’ green light.