Autonomous Passenger Drones

The field of flying taxis is one that is starting to fill up. Joining the likes of the Ehang 184 and Volocopter is the newly announced Passenger Drone, which is built to help usher in an era of personal aerial transportation by autonomously carrying people from point A to point B.

These kinds of short-range pilotless aircraft could have huge ramifications for how people move around cities
The Passenger Drone is built from carbon fiber composites and features a total of 16 rotors
Passenger Drone, which is built to carry people autonomously from point A to point B
The Passenger Drone is built from carbon fiber composites and features a total of 16 rotors
Just like the Ehang 184 and Volocopter, the Passenger Drone comes equipped with a touchscreen that allows users to punch in their destination and then have the autonomous software take care of the actual flying. These kinds of short-range pilotless aircraft could have huge ramifications for how people move around cities, and nowhere is keener than Dubai to see how they fare, this week kicking off trials of the Volocopter with tests of Ehang’s personal taxi drone also in the pipeline.

The makers of the Passenger Drone tell us they are currently testing the vehicle in Europe and have carried out manned flights with one person onboard. The aircraft is built from carbon fiber composites and features a total of 16 rotors, each powered by its own electric motor. There is also a joystick should it need to be flown manually, and two passenger seats, one behind the other.

These kinds of short-range pilotless aircraft could have huge ramifications for how people move around cities
“Range is 30 to 35 mins with speed of 30 to 35 knots (34 to 40 mph),” Passenger Drone’s Peter Delco explains to New Atlas. “These are the realistic numbers. There are other VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) projects out there promising hours of flying in the air but it is just impossible with current battery technology. So range is around 20 miles (32 km).”

This kind of range should be plenty enough for the kind of trips imagined for the Passenger Drone, one day helping to alleviate traffic by simply hoisting urban folk over the top of it. Like all VTOL projects, there is obviously a ways to go before the Passenger Drone enters use, not just in terms of proving the technology, but also in getting the all-clear from lawmakers to allow it to fly around cities. But another player on the scene won’t do the industry’s chances any harm.

The Passenger Drone will be on show at CES in January
Delco tells us the company will be showing off its work at CES in January next year, along with other trade shows in Europe and the US.

You can see the Passenger Drone take flight in the videos below – the first shows an unmanned flight, while the second is of the first manned flight test. The image gallery also offers a good look at it in action.

The Passenger Drone will be on show at CES in January
These kinds of short-range pilotless aircraft could have huge ramifications for how people move around cities
The Passenger Drone comes equipped with a touchscreen that allows users to punch in their destination

Walmart plans for a warehouse in the sky to make deliveries with drones.

Walmart has applied for a U.S. patent for a warehouse in the sky, which could make deliveries to shoppers’ homes with drones .

drones.

CNBC reported that it could be the big-box retailer’s latest move to take its e-commerce business to the next level.

Bloomberg first reported the news Friday, while the patent was first submitted in February.

The machine, similar to a blimp, could fly as high as 1,000 feet, the application says, and it would be operated either autonomously or remotely by a human pilot.

Drone safety awareness courses to be introduced by the Government

The Government has announced plans to introduce drone safety awareness courses for every owner of a drone . Each day there seems to be a new near miss story involving drones .

 

A passenger plane on its way to Edinburgh Airport missed a collision due to ‘luck’ a report claims.

A report published this week found that a Saab 340 plane was unable to take any action to avoid the drone, which missed by 15ft after flying parallel to the aircraft’s flight deck.

In its report, the UK Airprox Board published after the incident on May 19 said: “The pilot’s overall account of the incident and his inability to avoid the object portrayed a situation where providence had played a major part in the incident and a definite risk of collision had existed.

“It was so close and happened so fast that avoiding action was not possible. The pilot opined that it was only through luck that they did not hit the drone.”

The incident happened around 12 miles south of Edinburgh Airport and endangered a number of aircraft and those on board.

In the last nine months there have been at least four reports of drones narrowly missing planes in Scotland.

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