Autonomous drone taxis are already being tested in places like Dubai, and YouTubers have even created their own manned aerial vehicle out of a bathtub in Germany, but one drone taxi actually flew on American soil during CES. Volocopter and Surefly were two air taxis that were featured at the Las Vegas Convention Center, but only the Volocopter made a test flight because of the rain. Both aerial vehicles were created to change everyday transportation, and their presence alone at CES means they are one step closer to becoming a reality. Here is Engadget’s YouTube video of the Volocopter at CES:
Air Taxi – Volocopter
The creation of Volocopter started five years ago in Germany, but it is estimated to officially release in 2023. It has 18 propellers, nine batteries, and it has a flight time rated at 30 minutes. The autonomous air taxi is equipped with Intel’s flight control solutions and safety features. Volocopter has redundancies and even emergency parachutes for its two passengers, but the microprocessors that monitor the environment for turbulences and winds were implemented for a safe and smooth flight. In the company’s press release, Volocopter’s flight characteristics were described as suitable for operations in megacities. Besides the ongoing test flights in Dubai, Volocopter received a permit to fly in Germany, where it flies regularly.
“Although the Volocopter might resemble a Helicopter, it really is a flying super computer creating pleasant and safe ride,” said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.