Passenger Drones - GoTechTalk

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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Passenger Drones

Passenger Drones
image: ehang.com


The turn of the 20th century people had all kinds of fantastical visions of the future everything from weather machines to fire fighters that look like Batman, but one idea kept popping up over and over again The Flying Car.

And now here we are almost 120 years later we have real-time video chat and robots that can clean your house, but flying cars still seem like almost as much of a fantasy today as they did back then, it's difficult to make a vehicle that's as good in the air as it is on the ground oh and then there's the human element, if you think the motorist in your city are bad at driving in 2d just imagine giving them each a pair of wings but that doesn't mean that more personal air travel will never happen.

Passenger Drones that aim to make short trips a little easier are in development today but how do these differ from the flying cars of our dreams??. Well for starters passenger drones are purposely built for air travel only and unlike airplanes they usually don't even have wheels instead they rely on vertical takeoff and landing or VTOL, this means that they shouldn't need air strips or even a dedicated landing pad like helicopters since they are so much lighter but what about safety??

Well there are a number approaches to this similar to that people fly around to capture video and spy on their neighbours, some current passenger drone projects are meant to be operated remotely from command centre. The Ehang 184 for example doesn't even have any controls inside for the passenger except for a screen that allows them to enter their destination, others though like the one in development from Astro Aerospace are fully autonomous and are designed to get you from A to B safely with nothing more than onboard sensors to measure speed balance and altitude, essentially making them bigger versions of the retail cell flying drones you can pick up now for under three grand, but there are other considerations as well like passenger drones aren't designed to stay in the air for as long as 747s with many models currently in development intended for quick trips across town or maybe to the next city over.

Ehang 184 for example is only certifying there 184 for 10 miles or 23 minutes of flight not exactly eye popping but certainly better than driving 10 miles if you live in some horribly congested place like Delhi or even here in Mumbai for that matter, with that said gradual improvements to the technology already have some pretty big names in the transportation sector looking at the possibility of using passenger drones as the backbone of an air taxi service in seizures around the world, Uber for example is currently looking for a third city to join LA in Dallas as launch locations for its uber air service to debut in 2023 which will transport up to four passengers per drone and Airbus is looking to launch their own line of four seater drones that can cruise up to around 75 miles per hour and passenger drones may be able to take you even farther and faster later on down the road as German company lilium recently tested a small aircraft that combines VTOL with actual electric jet engines to travel across its 300 kilometer range in just one hour and these guys also intend to market an air taxi.

But of course there are many legal and political hurdles to clear before we're all zipping around in the air and drones and it's likely that many of these drone air taxi services will also feature human pilots on board until safety concerns with fully autonomous, flight can be completely resolved but even though we might have to wait a few years and wait and see if these drones won't just become another form of luxury travel for the rich.

Alright, guys, that's the end of the blog, thanks for reading the whole way through if you enjoyed this blog please share it with someone who would be interested and leave a comment, Thanks for reading guys.

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