With traffic in global metro cities getting mad every passing day, aviation giant Airbus believes that it could come up with a solution. The French firm asks, why sit idle in traffic when you can just fly over it!
The Airbus Vahana is an autonomous flying vehicle platform concept which is currently being developed at the company’s Silicon Valley tech centre called the A3. The concept is developed under the leadership of Rodin Lyasoff, project executive, Airbus.
The project has been officially underway since February 2016 and the company says it is looking to build the first prototypes as early as 2017. Internal and external developers in addition to partners have agreed on a vehicle design. The company has started building and testing of vehicle sub-systems.
Lyasoff says that in as little as 10 years, Airbus could have autonomous flying vehicles on the market to revolutionalize urban transport. He says that vital technologies like batteries, motors, and avionics, are mostly there but Vahana needs a reliable sense-and-avoid technology. While such systems are slowly started appearing in cars, there is no mature airborne solutions yet. That will be one of the primary focus areas of Airbus’ development.
The Airbus Vahana autonomous flying vehicle concept will target transport operators. The platform can spawn single seater, multi-seater as well as cargo variants. Considering that by 2030, 60% of global population will be living in cities (10% more than what it is now), Airbus believes that there will be demand for the Vahana in millions.