Aug 15 2016

First Self-Driving Cars, Now Flying Taxis?

44501544 - cartoon taxi business concept. flying vector car illustration. space background with stars. yellow rocket with checkers. If you feel like the automotive world is starting to resemble the Jetsons’ recently, you’re not alone in that opinion. Self-driving cars have been enough to wrap your head around, and now the European airplane manufacturer Airbus is suggested that a legitimate self-driving flying taxi could soon be in development. What?! Here’s what you need to know. According to the company’s announcement, “Airbus Group is harnessing its experience to make the dream of all commuters and travelers come true one day: to fly over traffic jams at the push of a button.” The idea sounds exciting, if not a bit questionable. How realistic is it for taxis to fly at random above traffic jams? Isn’t that merely a recipe for disaster? Airbus has dubbed the flying taxi project Vahana, which is described as “an autonomous flying vehicle platform for individual passenger and cargo transport.” It’s ambitious to say the least, but Airbus doesn’t seem to think it’s too science fiction-esque for the real world. According to project leaders at Airbus, Vahana will be made possible by the development of a sensor system that’s precise enough to keep the taxi from running into anything while soaring through the air. The technology doesn’t quite exist yet, but that isn’t stopping Airbus. Airbus executive Rodin Lyasoff elaborated.  “In as little as ten years, we could have products on the market that revolutionize urban travel for millions of people. Many of the technologies needed, such as batteries, motors and avionics are most of the way there.” Despite the incredible investments needed to develop and launch such a new form of technology, Airbus insists that a ride in an airborne taxi would be nearly the same as an on-earth taxi ride, but more environmentally sustainable and time efficient. It’s hard to say where all of this will lead, but one thing is for sure. Mark your calendars for 2026, and you’ll probably be looking out your window to see an entirely revised system of transportation.