Airbus Wants To Have An Autonomous Airliner Prototype Ready By The End Of This Year

autonomous aircraft

The evolution of technology is at such an astonishing pace that nothing seems out of the question anymore. A prime example of this is the announcement of the CEO of Airbus, who hopes to bring flying cars by the end of 2017!

Yes, you read it right, flying cars, which seemed so elusive ten years back. Who knew the world would go from what seems like the Flintstones’ era to the Jetsons and beyond so quickly!

Tom Enders, the chief executive of aerospace company Airbus, has his eyes on making the cars fly. He said,

“One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground.”

Enders revealed his plans at the DLD tech conference in Munich on Monday, where he broke into all the headlines after teasing about his company’s plans for creating a working prototype for an autonomous flying car by the end of this year.

He added, according to a report from Reuters,

“We are in an experimentation phase, we take this development very seriously.”

The “Project Vahana” was originally announced in September 2016, but no date of its completion was revealed.

The concept uses a small craft that has VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) capability. It also takes advantage of the efficiency of flying airplanes during the flight, making it a realistic prospect.

Rodin Lyasoff, CEO from Airbus’s advanced projects group, wrote about the project,

“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.”

While the prototype will be revealed this year, Airbus did mention that they won’t be able to create a commercial model until 2020. Interestingly enough, Airbus isn’t the only company deliberating on the idea of autonomous passenger aircraft. Uber also released a white paper in October 2016 with a plan that revolved around a similar vertical take/off landing technologies. Even Google co-founder Larry Page’s startup Zee.Aero is reportedly working on a flying car concept.

Are you excited at the prospect of using flying cars in the near future? Comment below!

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