Airbus a Takes Step Closer to Driverless ‘Flying Taxis’

2016-11-14

Airbus a Takes Step Closer to Driverless ‘Flying Taxis’
Vahana, an electric, self-piloted vehicle project being developed by A³, the advanced projects and partnerships outpost of Airbus Group in Silicon Valley, recently awarded a Flight Test and Range Services contract to Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI), and their partner, SOAR Oregon (SOAR).

Vahana is a self-piloted flying vehicle platform for individual passenger and cargo transport. It seeks to advance automated electric VTOL flight for the emerging on-demand mobility market. The contract covers the prototype Alpha Phase, which seeks to identify and resolve major technical and certification risks, culminating in a flight test demonstration at the end of 2017. MTSI will lead the Flight Test effort, while their partner SOAR Oregon will provide test range support and other services.

A³’s  mission is to disrupt Airbus Group and the rest of the aerospace industry. MTSI is an engineering services and technology solutions provider for the defense industry, intelligence community, and commercial markets. SOAR Oregon is a 501(c)(6) non-profit established to make Oregon a leader in the civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry, and support Oregon’s three FAA-designated UAS Test Ranges.

“The MTSI Team is proud to be selected as the Flight Test Lead for Vahana. This unique air vehicle will challenge traditional flight test methodologies,” stated Paul Linnell, MTSI Director, Civil & Commercial, and Project Manager. “Vahana sought out industry partners with deep experience in flight test and unmanned aircraft test range services to support this innovative project and they found that in MTSI and SOAR Oregon.”

In August, Airbus released an article claiming the project was making good progress.

“Many of the technologies needed, such as batteries, motors and avionics are most of the way there,” explained Airbus project executive Rodin Lyasoff in the company’s online magazine.

Airbus believes the global demand for the “flying cars” will run in to millions of vehicles and that demand will help reduce development costs.

“In as little as 10 years, we could have products on the market that revolutionize urban travel for millions of people,” said Lyasoff.

Lyasoff added that one major challenge would be to secure reliable technology to ensure the “autonomous taxis” can sense and avoid other objects.

And the futuristic project has public backing from Airbus chief executive Tom Enders:

“I’m no big fan of Star Wars, but it’s not crazy to imagine that one day our big cities will have flying cars making their way along roads in the sky,” Tom Enders said in the article.

“In a not too distant future, we’ll use our smartphones to book a fully automated flying taxi that will land outside our front door – without any pilot.”

Source: uasvision.com

Category:  UAV


Peruvian Air Force Develops Two New Drones

2017-08-14
Peruvian Air Force Develops Two New Drones
The Peruvian Air Force’s (FAP, per its Spanish acronym) Project Research and Investigation Center (CIDEP, per its Spanish acronym) was created in 1993 to develop flight simulators for Cessna A-37 aircraft.

US Navy Wants Drones and AI to Repair Airfields Fast

2017-08-14
US Navy Wants Drones and AI to Repair Airfields Fast
The U.S. Navy is looking for a drone that can fly over a damaged airfield and come up with a plan to get planes back in the air quickly, the head of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command said Tuesday.

China to Use CH-T4 Solar Drone as ‘Quasi-Satellite’ and Wi-Fi Hub

2017-07-28
China to Use CH-T4 Solar Drone as ‘Quasi-Satellite’ and Wi-Fi Hub
China is developing an airborne mobile Wi-Fi hub in near space with solar-powered drones. The Feiyun (“Flying Cloud”) project is able to secure emergency communication for more than one week and proof of concept is expected to be demonstrated before the end of year.

Mobile Skylight – Mobile Drone Security and UTM

2017-07-28
Mobile Skylight – Mobile Drone Security and UTM
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Gryphon Sensors, a SRC Inc. company based in Central New York, has developed a state-of-the-art mobile Unmanned Traffic Management system called Mobile Skylight. The development builds on the state’s investments in the region’s emerging Unmanned Aerial Systems industry.

Nett Warrior Streams Real-Time Drone Video to Soldiers

2017-07-28
Nett Warrior Streams Real-Time Drone Video to Soldiers
The U.S. Army is developing technology to allow dismounted soldiers to look at real time nearby air and ground drone feeds on a hand held, smartphone like ruggedized device. 

Raytheon Further Develops Multi-Mission Coyote UAS

2017-06-21
Raytheon Further Develops Multi-Mission Coyote UAS
Raytheon is developing a “Block 2” update of the Coyote tube-launched unmanned aircraft system (UAS) it acquired more than two years ago. The aim is to produce a low-cost, multi-mission-capable air vehicle that users will ultimately dispose of once it completes a mission.

Elbit Systems Reveals Airborne WAPS Solution at Paris Airshow

2017-06-16
Elbit Systems Reveals Airborne WAPS Solution at Paris Airshow
Elbit Systems will reveal at the 2017 Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, taking place this week, an innovative wide area persistent surveillance solution – SkEye WAPS.

Delair-Tech Sets A New UAS BVLOS Distance Record

2017-06-13
Delair-Tech Sets A New UAS BVLOS Distance Record
RTE and Delair-Tech set a new distance record when they flew a civilian drone 30 miles (50 kilometers). The official purpose of the flight, which took place in France, was to inspect by remote camera RTE’s power lines as well as recording data that would allow it to build models of its European power grid.

New Investment Fund to Create ‘Team Drone Japan’

2017-06-01
New Investment Fund to Create ‘Team Drone Japan’
Japan’s first investment fund focusing on drone-related startups begins operation in June, offering financial assistance and business management advice for budding entrepreneurs.

Taiwan’s Surveillance Drone Still in Pilot Project Phase

2017-06-01
Taiwan’s Surveillance Drone Still in Pilot Project Phase
Military officials announced Tengyun (騰雲機), a heavy drone designed for surveillance purposes, developed by Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology’s (CIST) was still in the pilot project phase, and was uncertain of the date of for the project’s completion.


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