This year many companies including NVIDIA, Cyanogen, Intel is heading towards autonomous vehicles industry. While it seems Airbus is not left behind, earlier the company said they wanted to build a fleet of autonomous, multirotor eVTOL aircraft that can be used to fly from rooftop to rooftop in dense cities where traffic is often at a standstill. The Project was launched back in 2016 as one of the first pursuits of A³ (“A cubed”), its Silicon Valley-based subsidiary.
Recently Airbus has conducted a successful test flight of its first autonomous air taxi called ‘Vahana’ on 31st January. The vehicle is 18.7 Fit long, 20.3 Fit wide, 9.2 fit tall and weights 1,642 pounds. The airbus autonomous taxi vahana reached a height of 16 Fits (5 mt.) and the self controlled flight lasted for only 53 secs in its initial test flight.
Zach Lovering, project executive at Vahana said,”“Our aim has long been to design and build a single passenger electric VTOL self-piloted aircraft that will answer the growing need for urban mobility,”. “Our goal is to democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision. Our first flights mark a huge milestone for Vahana as well as the global pursuit of urban air mobility”, he also added in his blog post.
Currently after the test flight, Vahana is under development to implement several improvements and features. A³ has said that they’ve plans to bring a production-ready version of this autonomous vehicle by the year 2020. It’s quite interesting to see how companies are implementing the next gen self driving technology, which clearly indicates the future will be all about several kinds of autonomous vehicles.