Airbus Group set to build robotic flying taxis

The flight tests of the first helicopter-like flying vehicles prototype are slated for the end of 2017.

The project’s team of internal and external developers is beginning to build and test vehicle subsystems.
The project’s team of internal and external developers is beginning to build and test vehicle subsystems.

European multinational aerospace and defence corporation, Airbus Group, is building autonomous helicopter-like flying taxis as a solution to urban congestion, the company has announced.

The flying vehicles, CityAirbus, will transport small parcels and passengers. Flight tests of the first vehicle prototype are slated for the end of 2017.

Battery-powered, the vehicles would be summoned by smartphone and travel along aerial urban roadways, constituting a system of robotic flying taxis.

The project has been underway since February 2016, according to the statement. The project’s team of internal and external developers, and partners have agreed on a vehicle design and is beginning to build and test vehicle subsystems.

“Traffic problems are becoming more acute across the globe as a result of increasing urbanisation, particularly in “megacities” – urban centres with upwards of ten million inhabitants,” the company said in a statement.

In response, Airbus Group experts are looking skywards to develop radical concepts that will relieve urban congestion. Participating in these efforts is A3, the company’s innovation outpost located in the gridlocked Valley.

A3 project executive Rodin Lyasoff and his team are actively pursuing a project coined Vahana, an autonomous flying vehicle platform for individual passenger and cargo transport. 

Lyasoff said: “We believe that global demand for this category of aircraft can support fleets of millions of vehicles worldwide. In as little as ten years, we could have products on the market that revolutionise urban travel for millions of people.”

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