Airbus plans to roll out Vahana – fully autonomous flying taxi by 2020
‘Vahana’ is the future of flying-cab service, believes the European aerospace giant Airbus after it gave a sneak-peek of its ambitious project. The name Vahana is derived from Sanskrit, world’s most ancient language, which means vehicles of gods in Hindu mythology. The final product is aimed at adding vertical element in transportation methods.
The current project Vahana is unmanned, fully autonomous flying vehicle that can carry only one passenger at a time. It can take-off and land vertically. It is made possible by a pair of two wings each equipped with four rotors. The wings can tilt to support movement in both vertical and horizontal direction. Vahana will be powered by electric motor propulsion system. Hypothetically, it implies a zero-emission ride. Vahana will deploy detect and avoid technology to automatically avoid collisions or confrontation with objects on its air route.
According to a statement released by the A3 chief executive Rodin Lyasoff in September this year;
The aircraft we’re building doesn’t need a runway, is self-piloted, and can automatically detect and avoid obstacles and other aircraft. Designed to carry a single passenger or cargo, we’re aiming to make it the first certified passenger aircraft without a pilot. In case of malfunction, obviously, there is a parachute that works at lower altitudes too.
Vahana is being developed through A3 unit in San Jose, California. Airbus has already poured $150 million for its new venture.
The company believes it can prepare a prototype and test it by the end of year 2017. If everything went well, the company believes Vahana would be available for sale by 2020. The company has already collaborated with Uber services.
The idea sound still sound radical, but reality is that flying cars and air-taxis are part of the future. Currently, there are no rules & regulations regarding permission of commissioning such unmanned flying vessels. Critics argue, it would be a terrible idea to allow operation of such vessels over populated urban habitats, which is quite reasonable. However, apparently, governments would have wrap up its arms for formulation of policies regarding fully-autonomous flying vessels like ‘Vahana’.
After flying-car caught transportation industries attention, the designers, auto-manufacturers like Honda, and giants like Airbus, rival of Boeing, begin to gear up to take the world in to new era.
Via: CNN Money