Airbus wants to roll out a fleet of innovative flying air taxis to solve traffic congestion in increasingly gridlocked cities.
The company is prototyping and developing a number of solutions, most notably a single-passenger flying vehicle and another ‘CityAirbus’ concept for multiple passengers.
The first of these, the single-passenger vehicle, has been dubbed Project Vahana and is being headed by Airbus’s Silicon Valley outpost, A3. It is thought that a design for the flying vehicle has already been agreed on and that a prototype could make its maiden test flight towards the end of 2017.
As for the CityAirbus, its creation is being left by Airbus Helicopters and offers a glimpse at what taxis could be like in the future. It has been envisioned as a vertical takeoff and landing vehicle powered by electricity and large propellers. It it proves successful with a pilot, it could become fully autonomous, dropping people off at their destinations safely and efficiently.
According to Jorg Muller, a member of Airbus Group’s corporate development department, “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.”
The future is here people, get ready.