Casablanca - The leading aeronautics manufacturer, Airbus, revealed the ambitious project of a self-driving taxi that can be summoned using smartphones.
Casablanca – The leading aeronautics manufacturer, Airbus, revealed the ambitious project of a self-driving taxi that can be summoned using smartphones.
It’s called CityAirbus.
The pilot-less craft is being developed by Airbus’ A3 development Team under Project Vahana and will be used in personal transport and cargo shipment.
“In as little as ten years, we could have products on the market that revolutionize urban travel for millions of people,” says Rodin Lyasoff, the project executive in charge of developing the craft.
The announcement by the aerospace giant invokes images of cool-looking futuristic flying vehicles roaming the skies in science fiction movies.
Such scenes will probably cease to seem outlandish soon with Airbus’ promising project.
Airbus will finish building the prototype next year and will begin testing it under real conditions at the campus of the National University of Singapore. The decision of this precise location follows a memorandum signed between Airbus Helicopters and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore allowing the company to use the university campus for prototype testing.
In its official website, the aerospace company says the project will solve the ever-growing traffic problems in megacities which will only increase as urban areas attract more residents.
“In response, Airbus Group experts are looking skywards to develop radical concepts that will relieve urban congestion” says the website.
“No country in the world today allows drones without remote pilots to fly over cities – with or without passengers,” said Bruno Trabel from Airbus Helicopters. Hence, the introduction of the CityAirbus in public and private transportation within cities will require a change in the regulatory rules.
Futuristic features will be utilized in Airbus’ promising craft. All the passengers will have to do is to pull out their smartphones and summon a CityAirbus. The flying-taxi will not require a driver since self-driving system will be at work.
The challenges the company faces are many. In addition to an advanced “sense-and-avoid” system that the company must develop, a number of technologies are required to ensure the feasibility, the convenience, and most importantly the safety of this revolutionary vehicle.
“Many of the technologies needed, such as batteries, motors and avionics are most of the way there […] that’s one of the bigger challenges we aim to resolve as early as possible,” said Lyasoff.
Edited by K. Barrett Bilali