Expect to see more flying taxis and services within the next few years as the technology is further developed and tested. German startup E-volo, for example, also has plans to launch a taxi service next year, while Uber has promised to introduce their own flying taxis by 2020. Dubai recently had a successful test of its autonomous Volocopter, which is also meant to be used in urban areas — albeit for shorter, 30-minute trips. Lastly, there’s the German company Lilium, which just received an additional $90 million to develop their all-electric flying taxi, with the intent to have a series of commercialized aircraft by 2025.
Aurora’s Alias solution includes the use of in-cockpit machine vision, robotic components to actuate the flight controls, an advanced tablet-based user interface, speech recognition and synthesis, and a knowledge acquisition process that facilitates transition of the automation system to another aircraft within a 30-day period.Aurora is also working on a version of the system without robotic actuation that instead aims to support the pilot by tracking aircraft physical, procedural, and mission states, increasing safety by actively updating pilot situational awareness.
The Japanese automaker backed a project called Cartivator, which wants to build a tiny flying car to light the Olympic flame for the 2020 Summer Games.SEE ALSO: An all-electric flying car just made its first flight and it’s as cool as it soundsCartivator is made up of over 30 volunteers, all donating their time to build the Skydrive car, which they hope to prep for a manned flight by the end of 2018.Toyota’s financial contribution to Cartivator is relatively small if you’re Toyota: around 40 million yen (a tad over $350,000). But for Cartivator, which has relied on donations and online crowdfunding, it’s a huge help towards financing the prototype which they’re claiming will be the smallest flying car developed yet.At 9.5 feet long and a little over 4 feet wide, the Skydrive, per the BBC, would be able to reach speeds around 100km per hour (62 mph) and, per the above video, would seem to fly like a quad-copter drone.
Uber already has self-driving cars, and now it’s on to the next frontier: Flying cars. The ride-hailing company on Thursday posted a white paper outlining its plan for “on-demand aviation,” aka flying Ubers. “On-demand aviation, has the potential to radically improve urban mobility, giving people back time lost in their daily commutes,” Uber wrote in its white paper. Along with a lengthy analysis of the economics and mechanics of flying cars, Uber published a bunch of illustrations of next-generation airborne transportation.
“[Self-driving] technology is coming to the car, but as an autopilot, it’s already there,” Vaculik told Mashable. “There are already systems for taking off and landing automatically. These two technologies can work together.”
AeroMobil has yet to get regulatory approval for its “normal” flying car, and self-driving cars have their own regulatory hurdles to navigate, so talk of pilotless flying cars might sound premature. But Vaculik and his co-founder Stefan Klein are serious, and have already spec’d out the design.
The DALER is being designed to be used in search and rescue operations, and its dual modes of locomotion will enable it to fly long distances to survey large spaces in a short timespan, and then to walk into dangerous or inaccessible areas.
The robot consists of a flying wing with adaptive morphology that can perform both long distance flight and walking in cluttered environments for local exploration. The robotʼs design is inspired by the common vampire bat Desmodus rotundus, which can perform aerial and terrestrial locomotion with limited trade-offs.