For those who are asking why we haven’t seen flying cars in our current reality just yet—they might be coming sooner than you think. The aviation company Airbus just announced they will unveil a self-flying electric vehicle sometime next year.
This will be Airbus’ first step in launching an automated flying taxi service. Airbus successfully tested the prototype for the multi-passenger, electric takeoff and landing. The next steps will include remotely piloted test flights at the end of 2018.
As shown on TechCrunch, the prototype looks a lot like a large four-rotor drone. Airbus wants to take up to four passengers on short flights—the aim being a way to connect transportation like trains and airplanes.
You won’t be able to fly these anywhere you please, though; these crafts will fly on predetermined routes, soaring over traffic at up to 80 mph.
Smart transportation for the future
The transportation industry has been seeking smarter developments like the Airbus flying taxi, as vehicles often have older infrastructure.
Israeli technology firm Mobileye helps cities become smart, transforming buses to become smart as well. The firm’s collision avoidance tech sees what the driver sees, and can detect things like impending collisions and vehicles merging.
The technology, which is installed directly into vehicles, can then send out a visual and audio warning to drivers about the detected threat.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk dreams of a “Hyperloop” vehicle that travels at incredibly fast speeds and connects cloud and IoT. This pod-like vehicle would transport passengers at up to 760mph, whipping past traffic and getting from point A to point B in record time. This is accomplished through a technology called passive magnetic levitation.
Laurence Cruz writes that a 12-hour train ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles could be sped up to just 34 minutes using the Hyperloop. Experts say that this innovative system won’t be available until sometime between 2019 to 2021.
Hopefully by that time, we will already be skirting past some ground-based vehicles in flying taxis.