Drones equipped with artificial intelligence are the key to individual mobility in the third dimension. The Airbus “Pop.up” concept, for instance, shows how a connection could be made between autonomously driving cars and autonomously flying drones. The modular car-drone hybrid consists of a self-driving chassis and a self-flying drone, each of which transports a passenger capsule. The capsule is also designed to be integrated into other mobility systems, such as the Hyperloop and enable platooning. However, in addition to this hybrid model, there are also manufacturers who may want to make cars completely superfluous. Chinese passenger drone eHang 184 is designed to convey one person through the air via its electric motors. It is currently being tested in Las Vegas, and there are hopes of turning it into a kind of flying on-demand taxi service. This concept was already presented a year ago as part of Uber Elevate. The passengers of such drones need neither a driver’s nor a pilot’s license. All they have to do is enter their destination in the navigation system and wait for the drone to pick them up. Just get in, take off and get out at the destination.
The progress in drone technology seen advancing on almost a daily basis means we can look forward to many new business models and interesting areas of application. Rapid advances can be expected in the near future, especially in the field of goods and passenger transportation. Those interested in finding out more about the latest in drone technology should read the engaging Wired article “Ten Aircraft That Will Revolutionize Aviation”.