The annual Detroit Auto Show highlights the vehicles to watch out for the coming year. In the world of drones, an entrant in this year’s Auto Show may turn some heads. Every auto and tech company in the world wants to spearhead the next line of transportation. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. The concept is simple enough – a taxi drone capable of flying to the skies. It can hold 1-2 people, and requires no driver. While the concept is simple, in actuality, making it is extremely difficult and riddled with obstacles. These obstacles include adherence to drone regulations, as well as privacy, safety, and air traffic.
Companies like Intel, Airbus, Facebook, and Uber all want to have their brand on the first mass-produced taxi drone. A company from Columbus Ohio called Surefly has thrown their name into the competition. With their newest creation, the Octocopter, they hope to be the name in taxi drone business.
Surefly Octocopter Review
The Surefly Octocopter resembles a smaller, compact helicopter. However, instead of long large spinning rotors at the top, it has eight smaller rotors. These smaller rotors come two per arm, one at the top and the other at the bottom of the ridge. It can hold 400 pounds (181 kilograms) or about two adults. The compartments can only hold two people, so the driving of the vehicle itself goes to autonomous programming. Of course, the people riding can assume controls with the panel onboard. However, if you are looking for someone to drive, you are out of luck. The small compartment is perfect for up to two people only, including the would-be navigator.
Like other similar taxi drone projects, the Surefly Octocopter is still in its infancy of development. It will be a long time before we see it mass-produced to serve large populations – if ever. However, one can purchase a unit to use privately for the estimated price of $200,000.