Not Quite a Flying Car yet Damn Close: Meet the Airbus Vahana
which’s not merely the roads in as well as around Silicon Valley where advanced transportation systems are being developed as well as vetted. The sky above the Bay Area is usually a prime proving ground for the latest aviation technology.
The newest aircraft to join which field may soon be the Vahana, a yet-to-be-built aircraft via A³, the regional office of Airbus Group in San Jose, California. Engineers are working on a personal-transportation craft capable of vertical takeoffs as well as landings, doing runways as well as roads obsolete. Also unneeded: pilots. If Airbus succeeds, the Vahana could use autonomous as well as unmanned technology to deliver people or packages to their destinations, potentially doing the eight-rotor craft the first certified passenger aircraft without a pilot.
Without referencing a certain Hanna-Barbera cartoon which made the idea of a flying vehicle for everyday commuting a novel future proposition, which appears to be the precise use case for the Airbus venture.
“We seek to help enable truly vertical cities by opening up urban airways in a predictable as well as controlled manner,” wrote Rodin Lyasoff, the project’s chief executive officer. “We believe which full automation will allow us to achieve higher safety by minimizing human error. Our aircraft will follow predetermined flight paths, with only minor deviations if obstacle avoidance is usually needed.”
Early renderings of the craft were released last month; Lyasoff says the company has completed the vehicle design as well as intends to build a full-size prototype by the end of 2017, that has a demonstrator to follow in 2020. Airbus established its Silicon Valley venture in May 2015.
The aircraft contains forward as well as rear wings each outfitted with four rotors which tilt into horizontal or vertical configurations for specific phases of flight. Vahana has not yet revealed which companies which is usually working with to build the prototype yet says which will “share a deep dive on our system design as well as analysis” in a forthcoming update.
Sketches as well as design underpinnings of the aircraft appear to be based on the HyperCommuter concept which gained traction with NASA engineers two years ago.
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The same technologies driving rapid improvements inside the auto industry—lightweight materials, more energy-dense battery options, autonomous technology, as well as obstacle detection—make the Vahana more affordable as well as potentially more plausible. yet if there’s a theoretical downside to which futuristic concept, which’s which which continues the pattern of single-occupant commuting which clogs U.S. roads today. More than three-quarters of Americans drive to work alone in cars, so the skies of tomorrow could become as crowded as the highways of today.