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Thursday 22 March 2018

Airbus’ self driving Alpha one could be the first commercial flying taxi

Aerospace giant airbus aims to place its  self-riding air taxi in market by 2020.

airbus alpha one autonomous flying taxi

Vahana, the aviation start-up backed by Airbus had completed it's successful flight of its self-piloted air taxi. Test was conducted at a site in pendleton, oregon.

Despite the fact that self flying taxis are years away, lot of companies have already invested lot of money and manpower  to make pilotless air travel a reality. The autonomous vehicle programme is called ‘Vahana’ and it is being developed by Airbus’ subsidiary A³ (pronounced “A-cubed”) based in Silicon Valley.The company's aim is to design and build a single passenger electric  self-navigated aircraft that suites urban mobility.Airbus has said it wants to build a fleet of autonomous, multirotor  aircraft that can be used to fly from rooftop to rooftop in metro cities where traffic is dense.
The alpha one is  powered by it's batteries  and is fully autonomous. The  plane measures 20 ft long and 19 feet wide and has a weighs  745 kg. It can fly vertically with the help of it's eight propellers and a six-rotors.A vertical and take-off and touchdown  design help the aircraft to take off and land in regions like a parking lot and taxi stands. 

Here’s a video of airbus’ air taxi flying in oregon 

Besides airbus,many other companies  are also working on their personal self-piloted air taxi programme. Google is developing an unmanned flying taxi, named “cora”. The automobile is being advanced by kitty hawk, the silicon valley start-up supported by  Google's co-founder Larry Page . Cora can fly faster than 150 kilometers consistent with hour and has a variety of one hundred kilometers. Online taxi service Uber plans to start a flying taxi carrier in dubai, dallas, andLos Angeles by  2020.

But there are lot of hurdles before flying taxis take off, which include regulations and technical challenges.There are no electric-powered aircraft, in commercial operation today. Flying requires an incredible amount of energy, and present battery technology just doesn’t offer the power-to-weight ratio needed to achieve liftoff. Experts predict that it will be years, if not decades, before the technology catches up.

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