We have been discussing here on numerous occasions about the impact of the new generation mobility solutions – which range from ride-sharing services to connected and autonomous cars.
But there are others willing to take things even further – maybe using that creative thinking that allowed us to evolve so much in just a few centuries since the start of the industrial revolution. Because by 2030 a full 60 percent of the planet’s population is expected to live in the cities (50 percent now), traffic congestion is going to be even worse. But French-based aircraft conglomerate Airbus seems to have a solution – a vertical one – in the form of an autonomous flying car. Surprisingly or not, the very first prototype is expected to hit the… streets and air as quickly as 2017, with production starting in about a decade.
A3, Airbus’s high-tech skunkworks in Silicon Valley, is linked to the core project via its autonomous vehicle platform called Vahana, which is being developed to allow people or goods carrying patterns. “Many of the technologies needed, such as batteries, motors, and avionics are most of the way there,” comments Vahana lead Rodin Lyasoff, though he also concedes the major challenge is the need for advancements in the field of detection and avoidance systems – the ones in cars being way ahead of their aircraft counterparts.