CityAirbus autonomous taxi renderingEnlarge Photo
Do you love the movie "The Fifth Element"? (That's probably a dumb question because of course you do.)
One of the early scenes that grabbed our attention had to be the shots with a packed cityscape filled with thousands of flying machines soaring through the sky. Perhaps Airbus was watching Luc Besson's lovely work when they dreamed up their new concept flying machine: the CityAirbus.
Airbus has grand visions of supplying around-town commuters with a way to get to their destination, and naturally it involves taking to the sky. Cities are crowded, but the sky space above a city isn't quite jam packed just yet. A large quadcopter could be the answer to a question that looks to put folks up above the ground-based traffic.
The CityAirbus would be an autonomous taxi service that could be tomorrow's Uber. You book a ride via an app, walk over to a helipad, and flutter off to your destination. According to Autoblog, the service would start out with human pilots, but the ultimate goal would be to have it all controlled by computers.
Airbus is currently cooking up an electric helicopter that flies on its own and it's looking to test that project sometime in late 2017. There's no word or timetable applied to the CityAirbus though, as flying "cars" are still incredibly far off. You'll just have to hail a cab or order that Uber for the foreseeable future.
Unless, of course, the Chinese firm Ehang is able to sort out its own autonomous drone that's currently heading into the test phase.