Ever got stuck in the nasty New York traffic and missed an important meeting? Or a flight from JFK? In anger, you rolled down the window of your ancient taxicab and saw the choppers flying away from the roof tops with the CEOs to their evening rendezvous. You thought to yourself, this gridlock will become a quintessential part of life in New York as real life is not like the futuristic Hollywood movies with flying cars. Well, there is good news as flying car is becoming a reality from a concept: Airbus’ Urban Air Mobility division shared its vision of self-piloted flying car at the DLD Conference in Munich. Urban transport saw the first major shift a century ago when trains went underground, but this time it is going to witness the most remarkable change as Airbus Group plans to take urban transport aboveground with flying cars by the end of this year. Now you use your smartphone to book a ride by Uber, soon you will use the same phone to book a ride by an electronic drone.
Inside Airbus’ Flying Car Vahana:
As shared by Airbus’ CEO Tom Enders at the conference in Munich, the flying car Vahana will be a single-passenger auto-piloted air vehicle capable of vertical takeoff and landing. This battery-operated electronic drone is almost at the final stage of its development. The flying car will be equipped with the most up-to-date technologies that would transform it into the most reliable mode of transport.
Flying Car Vahana and Traffic Gridlock:
Rapid urbanization has already allured people to migrate to the cities, and by the end of 2030 more than 60% of the people will live in urban areas. To provide safe transit to the urban mass, big cities introduced underground railways almost hundred years ago. Now there is only one option: go above ground. Airbus Group clearly understood this and dedicated its efforts in coming up with effective alternatives to helicopters. As a viable solution to gridlocked commuters, Airbus has designed a flying car called Vahana. This single passenger flying car is self-piloted and expected to embark on test operation by the end of 2017. Very much like car sharing these days, Vahana will provide a ride sharing platform to millions of commuters in urban landscapes.
CityAirbus: A Flying Car that Functions as a Bus
Other than the single-passenger Vahana, Airbus also planning to introduce a helicopter-style vehicle for mass transit. According to Airbus, there will be helipad-like stations for the CityAirbus which passengers would be able to jump in and fly off to nearest helipad close to their destinations. The fare? Not more than a regular taxi ride! The design of the CityAirbus is a top-secret project that Airbus is currently working on.
Flying Car and Package Delivery:
Although Airbus itself does not have any plans to initiate a package delivery business, it sees the flying car concept as a huge market for retailers like Amazon or parcel delivery services like DHL and FedEx. The Airbus Skyways project is focusing on providing countless flying cars to the huge fleets of parcel delivery drones that Amazon and DHL are experimenting on.
Flying Car and Infrastructure:
Just imagine the billions of dollars that are required to construct roads and bridges or maintain the tunnels each and every year. Ground transportation certainly requires a huge amount of investment and is subjected to a serious system-loss due to the long traffic jams during the rush hours. Compared to ground transportation, flying cars do not need any roads or bridges, and hence no need for infrastructural developments. Moreover, the completely emission and noise free transportation system that Airbus anticipates to initiate with its flying car Vahana, it will soon revolutionize the urban transport in the mega-cities across the world.
As one of the world’s largest aerospace companies, Airbus is definitely right in its foresight into the transportation problems that the mega-cities of the world are going to face within a decade. The company’s vision to initiate the flying car concept and soon to make it a reality is unquestionably a noble initiative.