It lasted less than a minute, but to a company testing out its first autonomous air taxi … that’s a win. Which company just made that happen? Boeing. Yeah, they’re not just about airplanes anymore; they’re also about the new and exciting world of autonomous air taxis, or what’s technically called the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL)! But if you think they’re the first ones to look into this new type of transportation vehicle, think again. It looks like a number of mobility companies—like Uber and Airbus—are also working on similar prototypes and plan to deploy their self-driving air taxis in the 2020s as well.
Ready to ride an eVTOL to school? Well, not so fast. Although several companies are working on eVTOL prototypes, there’s still a lot of testing and engineering to be done before any self-driving air taxi gets the okay to fly the friendly skies. After all, self-driving vehicles need to learn things like when to stop for pedestrians, which vehicle has the right of way, and many other rules and responses to everyday traffic patterns. And let’s not forget production. While a prototype may be a fantastic start, producing and then deploying these eVTOLs are other challenges.
It’s still a few years away until the anticipated unveiling of the eVTOL for any company, but we can’t wait to see how these companies change the way we humans travel.
Boeing is trying to solve the road congestion problem by developing a self-driving air taxi, and The Boring Company is building an underground tunnel system. What would you invent or propose to solve traffic congestion problems?