Picture this. The roads are backed up to Satan’s doorstep. Your flight is leaving and there’s no way to get to where you need without one of those Mad Max trucks.
Enter Vahana, Airbus’ Silicon Valley venture firm which has just successfully tested its autonomous flying taxi in the real world.
The electric craft with big dreams made its maiden test flight at Pendleton, Oregon, last week where it took off for 53 seconds before safely landing. More importantly, the exercise was proof that the technology could be viable in the near future amongst an electric driven world.
Whilst it may look like a cross between a racing drone and a flying car for the moment, the craft’s developers at Vahana are serious about getting it off the ground and into service as “the first certified passenger aircraft without a pilot”.
The final goal will be for the craft to transport passengers or cargo autonomously between checkpoints like trains and stations.
The Airbus-backed project won’t come without its competition though. Uber recently announced that it was working with NASA on their own Vertical Take-off & Landing vehicles (VTOLs) and China also have their Ehang which they debuted at last year’s CES convention.