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TECH TALK


Figure 1: Airbus’ new modular transport system concept: the Pop.Up. (Image Credit: Airbus)


FLYING CARS, PILOTLESS


DRONES, OH MY The idea of a fl ying car has been around since the late 1800s. King Ludwig of Bavaria lost his crown partially due to his idea to build a fl eet of these — and this predates the Wright brothers. Many have tried to build these, and many have failed, which only motivates others to chase this dream.


Figure 2: EHang 184 test flights in Dubai (Image Credit: EHang) Now we have working prototypes


of sorts being tested. Of the dozen or so companies working on this, several of these might actually reach the market in the coming years. But in order to be successful, not only do we need to have a whole suite of new driving/fl ying rules in place, as well as the need to modify parts of our surface transportation infrastructure


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RG-390E | 28 Ah


to accommodate these (roads, bridges, parking lots, garages, etc.), but let’s ignore this for a minute and dream. Here are a list of projects which are near fruition. Airbus, via its Silicon Valley arm (A3)


RG-380E/44K | 42 Ah RG-427 | 24 Ah 626.813.1234 | ISO 9001 + AS9100 | WWW.CONCORDEBATTERY.COM 20 DOMmagazine.com | july 2017


has a project named Vahana which is a fl ying driverless electric taxi that you can call upon via a smartphone. They are not the fi rst to announce this, but, since this is Airbus you have to take it seriously. In a recent article, A3 CEO Rodin Lyasoff stated that it will fl y a full-size prototype before the end of 2017. Zach Lovering, who oversees Project Vahana, adds that it plans to have a production version ready by 2020. Airbus has previously announced a fl ying taxi service named CityAirbus, but no recent information on this is available. Airbus had also announced a new modular transportation idea mingling air and ground travel named “Pop.Up.” This consists of a capsule that is mounted to the frame of an autonomous car, and by using your smartphone, you can rise above the masses on the roads below. These ideas could also be used for cargo/ package delivery services (and by all manner of Bond villains) and no word on the rumor (that I just made up) that Dominos will re-institute its old 30-minutes-or-it’s-free pizza delivery pledge due to this — and if they drop the pizza box on your rooftop, it counts as meeting their pledge. (Airbus has been innovative lately, and is building upon its work with electric airplanes in recent years.)


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