Airbus to demonstrate flying car by year's end, CEO promises

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,321   +162
Staff member

Autonomous driving systems are on track to revolutionize how we get around town but the harsh reality is that vehicles capable of driving themselves full-time are still many years away.

Worse yet, benefits like improved efficiency due to reduced traffic congestion won’t be realized until the overwhelming majority of vehicles on the streets – or maybe even 100 percent of them – are of the autonomous nature.

Others, however, like Airbus Group believe the next mobile revolution won’t happen on the ground but rather, in the sky. 

Airbus CEO Tom Enders during a recent speaking engagement at the Digital – Life – Design (DLD) conference in Munich noted that one hundred years ago, urban transport went underground but now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground.

To that end, Enders said his company’s Urban Air Mobility division anticipates demonstrating a single-person flying vehicle by the end of the year. Airbus’ rendering shows a craft with eight rotors that should be able to take off and land vertically. Whether or not the prototype we see later this year looks exactly like the render, however, remains to be seen.

Consumer-grade flying vehicles present a number of obstacles although critically, the need to invest billions of dollars into the construction of roads and bridges isn’t one of them.

Permalink to story.

 

mosu

Posts: 563   +199
So basically a one person drone. So we'll have to cut trees and dismantle the surface electric grid and everybody should get a pilot license.Waiting for some more...like long range jet packs and personal space shuttle for intercontinental flights and bragging rights.
 

mcborge

Posts: 599   +487
So basically a one person drone. So we'll have to cut trees and dismantle the surface electric grid and everybody should get a pilot license.Waiting for some more...like long range jet packs and personal space shuttle for intercontinental flights and bragging rights.
I wouldn't call it a drone as a drone is either autonomous or externally piloted. I would call this a personal multi copter. What ever it is classified as though, it's certainly not a flying car.
 

VitalyT

Posts: 6,349   +7,064
It is the same type of promise as about iternal-life batteries, a decade-old joke. Mark my word, nothing will happen by end of the year.
 

Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,188
Flying car? It looks more like a flying cabin. I thought of the old-school concepts of car-plane hybrids.
 

OutlawCecil

Posts: 739   +570
Ok in all seriousness, if flying cars ever becomes a thing, it should be HARD to get a license and only a select few should ever be able to utilize the technology, aka everybody driving should not be switching to flying. With 90% of the drivers out there already driving terribly, we don't need to introduce a third dimension into the mix! I can see a future where most people drive self-driving cars, while maybe 10% have a license for flying cars. Maybe more-so if we can automate them as well.
 

Igrecman

Posts: 300   +180
This looks like it's at least 5 meters wide (16.5 foot) and 7 meters long (23 foot). Not practical for most people in a city.
 

Reachable

Posts: 370   +183
A flying car is a geek dream, but, of course, having everybody flying around around free of the constraints (and safety) of roadways and air traffic control would never be in the best interests of society, to put it mildly. Airbus, one would think, would be approaching this more realistically than Sergei Brin. These might make good vehicles for law enforcement, emergency services, and the like.
 
B

Brock Kane

Ok in all seriousness, if flying cars ever becomes a thing, it should be HARD to get a license and only a select few should ever be able to utilize the technology, aka everybody driving should not be switching to flying. With 90% of the drivers out there already driving terribly, we don't need to introduce a third dimension into the mix! I can see a future where most people drive self-driving cars, while maybe 10% have a license for flying cars. Maybe more-so if we can automate them as well.

I would be certain these "Flying Cars" will be totally "Autonomous". You would be just a passenger, you would not need a licence..
 

Mr Dude

Posts: 64   +47
I find it interesting that the very folks who sing praises and promise "flying cars" also forget enough about physics to think these are viable in any scale of deployment. Anyone care to remind them what Turbulence is?
 
B

Brock Kane

I find it interesting that the very folks who sing praises and promise "flying cars" also forget enough about physics to think these are viable in any scale of deployment. Anyone care to remind them what Turbulence is?

I really don't believe these flying vehicles would be at an altitude that turbulence would be a problem.
 

Reachable

Posts: 370   +183
Flying cars simply can't be done. It's a nightmare scenario. Land cars (except for occasional off-road jaunts in recreational spaces) are confined to roadways, like blood in veins. Flying cars would be a complete hemorrhage -- cars flying over your house, your lawn, fields, parks, downtown buildings. You can have the flying cars be autonomously controlled and stay above the roadways, but it must take a huge amount more energy to keep a heavy object aloft and moving than to have it roll over surfaces.
 

Underdog

Posts: 268   +167
All very nice until some 25cent connector gets a bit corroded and fails bringing the whole thing down on somebody's party.
 
D

DelJo63

Very Old Dream as shown here

the #4 Robert Edison, #5 Henry & #6 Taylor were active protoypes.

Design per se was never the problem, but the practical aspects of where to take-off and land were insurmountable.