Gone are the days when the concept of flying cars could only be resigned to fiction. Many companies are working on vehicles capable of vertical takeoff and landing to address the transportation needs of the future. Boeing is one of them and the aviat…More...
Japan wants operational flying cars to be available in the country in the next decade and for this purpose, it has enlisted some of the world’s top companies that are already working on flying cars. The companies that form part of the group tha…More...
There are quite a few companies that are working on their own systems for “flying taxis,” or vertical take-off and landing. Uber envisages running a full service of flying taxis in the future and now Rolls-Royce is throwing its hat in the…More...
Airbus has long been working on an electric-powered vertical take-off and landing aircraft, commonly referred to as a flying car. The European company launched this project called Vahana back in 2016 through its Silicon Valley subsidiary. The project aims to develop a fleet of autonomous and electric-powered multirotor VTOL aircraft capable of flying from rooftop to rooftop in dense cities where traffic jams are a common occurrence. Airbus has released new photos of the project today and revealed that it aims to test the prototype by the end of this year.
Airbus is certainly not the only company that’s working on flying cars. Its main rival Boeing is working on something similar. Even companies like Uber are working on flying cars to launch a completely new kind of taxi service in the coming years.
The photos that Airbus has released today show its Silicon Valley team working on a couple of single-seat, tilt-rotor flying cars. Airbus has revealed that the team is working on a full-scale demonstrator and that the aim is to fly it by the end of 2017.
The team recently moved the prototype from California to a new flight test center located in Pendleton, Oregon. That’s where the first demonstration of this aircraft will be performed.
The team is planning to have a production version of the Vahana ready by 2020.
Uber has made no secret of its intention to introduce flying taxis. It has already talked about this project in detail. The project is called Elevate and envisions flying taxis taking passengers wherever they need to go. Uber has now confirmed that it’s working with NASA to develop software for managing the routes for its flying taxis in the air.
Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden mentioned that this is the first formal services contract by NASA that covers low-altitude airspace instead of outer space.
He also revealed that Uber is going to start testing four-passenger flying taxis that can zoom past at 200 miles per hour in Los Angeles by 2020. L.A. is going to be the company’s second test market for flying taxis after Dallas.
NASA will essentially be creating an air traffic control system for the company which will enable it to manage the entire flying taxi fleet. Uber is predicting that this service will be very efficient. It estimates that a journey from LAX to the Staples Center that currently takes about an hour and a half could be reduced to just under 30 minutes with flying taxis.
Whether or not Uber is going to meet its deadlines is another matter entirely. Signing up NASA as a partner at least shows that it’s very serious about this project.More...
Airbus is best known for the giant airplanes it makes but many of you may not be aware that it’s also working on small autonomous flying cars that are meant for single-passenger travel. Airbus CEO Tom Enders has said that this is a project that the company takes very seriously and that it’s looking to have a prototype of this flying car ready by the end of this year.
The project is part of a division Airbus formed last year called Urban Air Mobility. The company has based it on a ride-sharing concept whereby people would be able to book the self-flying car via an app much like they would book an Uber, which interestingly is also working on its own flying car project.
Enders added that Airbus wants to invest more resources in the development of technologies that are going to shape our future, such as artificial intelligence and autonomous driving. “If we ignore these developments, we will be pushed out of important segments of the business,” he said.
The project itself is known as Project Vahana through which Airbus is developing its autonomous vertical take-off and landing concept. The company aims to have a viable production unit for short-haul trips available by 2021 so it would make sense for Airbus to start testing prototypes later this year.
Airbus is yet to confirm how much money it’s pouring into this project.