As traffic congestion in the world’s megacities grows increasingly worse, resulting in billions of dollars in lost productivity and skyrocketing levels of pollution, more and more companies are looking to air travel as a greener alternative.
While we may not get flying cars per se, a similar solution is already in the works – personal drones designed for everyday trips around the city.
A Swiss company, appropriately named PassengerDrone, had recently introduced a brand new, two-seater prototype, which can fly at a speed of up to 80 km/h and requires no more of its passengers than a bit of fiddling on a touchscreen.
The new drone will be run exclusively on fibre optics and contain as many as 16 separately powered electric engines for extra stability, cohesion and redundancy, nestled in a body composed of lightweight and durable carbon fibre composites, specially developed for PassengerDrone.
According to a press release, intensive testing with simulated payloads, engine failures and control modes commenced in early May 2017. So far, the drone proved to be stable and manoeuvrable, and received good ratings from passengers.
In addition to being emission-free, the company claims PassengerDrone will provide “enhanced safety, performance, greater payload and range, and less noise than anything else available on the marketplace”, resulting in it being “practically foolproof”.
“PassengerDrone is excited and passionate about the potential benefits, and positive impact VTOL urban air transportation can offer to solve not only air and noise pollution, but to help reduce stress levels and improve general health of commuters around the globe,” claims the company in the press release.
Interested? Well then be ready to fork over between $150,000 and $200,000 – no one said futuristic air travel was going to be cheap. At least not in the foreseeable future, that is.
If and when approved by the appropriate regulatory authorities, the PassengerDrone is bound to face some rather steep competition from other private companies (such as Kitty Hawk and Daimler) and universities around the world (including such leading institutions as the MIT).
Only time will tell which of the competing passenger drones will come out on top as the market heats up in the near future.