While Amazon is currently working on developing airborne warehouses and flying drones to deliver packages. One Aerospace company has their eyes set on developing flying cars.
The CEO of Airbus, Tom Enders, told an audience at the DLD digital conference in Munich that the company is working on a flying car with a prototype demonstration coming soon, according to Reuters.
“One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground,” Enders explained. “We are in an experimentation phase, we take this development very seriously,” he added.
Enders revealed that the company is currently testing and plans on demonstrating a single person flying car by the end of 2017.
Ultimately, Enders explains that a huge benefit is the reduction of costs cities have to pay to upkeep their infrastructure. With flying cars, city officials do not have to worry about concrete or the safety of bridges and roads.
What is Airbus Project Vahana?
Airbus created a new division called their Urban Air Mobility program last year. The goal of the new division is to explore new ways to transport individuals. The company plans on developing flying taxis called CityAirbus, that will allow for men and women to call for a flying taxi with a smart phone app. The entire development program is called “Project Vahana”.
The company explained in a blog post last September that, the new flying car will be self-piloted that “can automatically detect and avoid obstacles and other aircraft.”
Uber’s Flying Taxi Program
It’s important to point out that Airbus is not the only company interested in developing flying cars. Last year, Uber announced that they were developing an on-demand flying taxi.
“A network of small, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically (called VTOL aircraft for Vertical Take-off and Landing, and pronounced vee-tol), will enable rapid, reliable transportation between suburbs and cities and, ultimately, within cities,” the Uber explained in a Medium post.
Just as Airbus explained, Uber’s goal is to reduce the infrastructure costs the government has to pay every year to maintain bridges and roads.
But, it is important to point out that before any flying cars take over city skies, they would have to first comply with the Federal Aviation Administration Agency, which already places strict restrictions on Amazon’s self-flying drone program.
In addition, Uber revealed their biggest issue is that there are not enough places within cities for flying cars to land – “if VTOLs are going to achieve close to their full potential, infrastructure will need to be added.”