How many motor vehicles do you think there are in the world? Make a very wild guess. Actually, you don’t need to guess. According to US publisher Ward, there were 1.015 billion motor vehicles in the world as at 2010. Calculations in recent times give us a wide range of values but we have reason to believe that there are well over 1.3 billion cars right now. In 2035, we will have 2 billion cars in circulation.
If this statistic isn’t enough reason to discourage you from road transportation, the good news of passenger drones might give you a reason to rejoice. The first practical airplane was flown in 1903 and Ford, in the 1920s already envisioned flying cars. While we might still need to wait a while before flying cars are seen, we can enjoy transportation in passenger drones.
What are Passenger Drones?
Before we go further, it might be nice to add that flying cars aren’t impossible to build. However, they aren’t fundamentally ideal. They do not fit the purpose on land, neither are they optimal for the sky and this is why we significant investment is being made towards gadgets that are better suited for this purpose.
A passenger drone has also been referred to as a drone taxi or a pilotless helicopter and it is a type of UAV which has the capacity to carry passengers. Even though the creation of autonomous flying objects didn’t just emerge, the development of an object that serves to transport passengers only came to light in 2016 at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016. This demonstration was made by certain Chinese entrepreneurs and the product in question is the Ehang 184.
It’s been three years since the first demonstration and we have quite a lot of passenger drone projects in the pipeline. Here are the top 5 passenger drones you would like to learn about.
1. Ehang 184
As we said, this is the first prototype we had on the scene. The company behind this is also one of the few companies with over 1000 test flights. These flights have successfully transported humans from one point to another and their extensive experience gives the Ehang an edge.
This drone is able to travel about 10 miles in just one flight. It is also able to navigate completely without any input from a human pilot. They already have years of experience building drones and launching consumer flight programs. Hence, their control algorithm is much more superior.
Their goal is to provide a drone taxi service in the future. Remember, the roads are becoming congested, perhaps, this service will give conventional taxi services a run for their money.
2. Workhouse SureFly
We first saw this drone in 2017 and ever since it has garnered support from far and wide. Unlike almost every other drone you might have come across, this uses both a gasoline generator and an electric battery for power supply.
The SureFly makes use of 8 propellers for flight and navigation and the in-built control algorithm ensures that the device can fly with just 4 propellers. If an emergency occurs while you’re on the SureFly, a ballistic parachute can be deployed to keep you safe.
3. Kittyhawk Flyer
This is the brainchild of Larry Page, Google’s esteemed co-founder. It works more like a personal flying electric car. The flight time of the Kittyhawk Flyer is about 20 minutes. It needs about 10 fans to fly and there’s a special proprietary algorithm which stabilizes the flight operation. because of the compliance with FAA regulations, the Kittyhawk Flyer will be much more accessible to the general public.
4. Kittyhawk Cora
A flyer is a personal flying personal car while Cora is the flying taxi. With 12 propellers working for the vertical take-off and landing aspect, there’s also a pair of high lift wings and a rearward facing thruster which enable forward flight. This drone is also equipped with self-piloting capabilities.
5. Uber Elevate
This company has a track record of disrupting industries; the taxi and fast-food delivery being the most recent victims. Now, they have decided to step it up literally with their Uber Elevate. Just like what they offer on land, they plan to provide on-demand aviation services.
With their drones, customers will be able to request autonomous drones which will land and take off in pre-defined VTOL landing pads.
Exciting times ahead! Do you have any exciting projects like these that you would like to build? Be sure to contact us today.