In our last Technology article, Bell’s air taxi was mentioned as one featured at CES 2019. Imagine workers at construction sites with limited or no parking availability, dropped off by Bell’s Nexus air taxi! That was quoted from “Pardon the Disruption” two weeks ago. Yesterday, Boeing showcased their flying taxi for the public. Even though the maiden flight lasted just under a minute, Boeing and those present recognize that it was a very significant step toward a larger bid to revolutionize parcel delivery services and urban transportation.
See video of Boeings’ flying car unveiled this week – this is no prototype:
The face of the aerospace industry will change within the next decade, fueled by major investments and giant leaps in autonomous technology. Growing frustrations with auto traffic congestion would be eased by self-flying vehicles capable of vertical takeoff and landing. Boeing’s air taxi is part drone, part fixed-wing plane, and part helicopter. Very soon, Boeing will test forward, wing-borne flight with the 30-foot-long aircraft. Aurora Flight Sciences CEO, John Langford, said “this is what revolution looks like, and it’s because of autonomy.”
According to Boeing, sorting out numerous regulatory and critical safety issues in order to meld fleets of flying cars with traditional roadway traffic are major hurdles to clear. Working with the FAA and startup SparkCognition Inc., Boeing is developing a traffic-management system for three-dimensional highways. This system will include the regulatory framework needed for waves of autonomous vehicles to “zip safely around buildings”. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said, “the future of mobility – moving goods, moving cargo, moving people – that future is happening now and it’s going to accelerate over the next five years and ramp up even more beyond that”. Workers arriving at construction sites by air taxis is getting easier to imagine!
NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not-too-distant future. Dr. Joey Shorter has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.