The test flight marks a major step toward the aerial mobility.
A future with flying cars taking passengers from one roof a building to another has been dreamed of much but that might just turn out to be a reality. Boeing just took a major step toward making the future a reality with its autonomous flying taxi. The company successfully conducted a test flight of its autonomous electric VTOL aircraft, which took off vertically, hovered in the air for a few seconds and landed company’s test site in Manassas, Virginia.
The vehicle has yet to move forward, so the test flight doesn’t seem like much of an advancement. But considering that it was just a concept a year ago, this test flight marks a major achievement and opens doors to the aerial mobility we all have been seeing in just cartoons and movies. The test flight was conducted by Boeing and Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing, which it acquired in 2017.
Boeing is just one of dozens of companies trying to realize the flying taxi a reality and being the giant it is Boeing clearly has the resources and prowess to get something up in the air before anyone else. Also, the key takeaway from this first flight is that there are no electric air vehicles and certainly no fully autonomous one at that.
When completed, the vehicle will serve as urban air mobility that will shuttle passengers from one skyscraper to another where ground mobility is deemed impractical or slow. The major hurdles though according to the company include critical safety and traffic management of the flying cars. It’s going to take a significant regulation to manage the traffic with the ground vehicles and even the physical infrastructures posing as hurdles.
Uber and Boeing have partnered to develop the next generation flying taxi that will operate on Uber’s ride-hailing ‘Uber Air’ project which has been planned to launch in 2023.
With Boeing and Airbus, two aircraft giants leading the race for developing the next generation of ‘flying-taxis’ we can’t help but feel that the future might not be that far after all