Flying Robotaxis are easier to do than drones

Published on November 19, 2013

Flying Robotaxis are easier to do than drones

    Unmanned flying cars are easier to construct than the same unmanned vehicles for traffic. In principle, this is a logical and understandable idea, just few people thought about it, says Carl Dietrich, Executive Director of Terrafugia , which is engaged in the production of flying cars.

    At a conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carl Dietrich made a presentation and promised that every citizen would be able to buy an unmanned car with vertical take-off and landing for a decade.

    Terrafugia is developing the TF-X robotic flying car . It’s already clear that to create it you need less sophisticated technologies than Google uses for unmanned vehicles.

    There is no need to recognize and respond to traffic signs in the air. No need to monitor the situation with dozens of vehicles and pedestrians moving around, who are capable of unpredictable actions. There are no pedestrians in the air at all.

    A computer-controlled flying car only needs to calculate the trajectory in airy 3D space (which is easier than laying a route along roads on the ground), take off correctly and choose the right place to land. These are fairly simple tasks, says Dietrich. After all, autopilots have been used in air transport since the 80s, and the first automatic landing system appeared in 1979.

    Thus, technically TF-X will be easier than robotic cars from Google, Honda, Mercedes and other manufacturers who are now actively working in this direction.

    The biggest problem with a flying car is the laws. It is necessary to allow people without flying transport management skills to own flying cars. If the relevant laws are adopted, then the TF-X model can become very popular. A vertical take-off and landing car-plane can fly 800 km at one gas station, carrying up to four passengers.

    The first Transition model cannot fly without a man, but this device will enter the market in two or three years, and now it is undergoing flight tests. By the way, about 100 people have already pre-ordered this car, costing $ 279 thousand. Unfortunately, it does not have propellers for vertical take-off, like the TF-X, so you can only land the car at the airport.