Vahana - Pilotless, Electric Vehicle From Airbus Successfully Tested

| February 3 , 2018 , 13:49 IST

Airbus on Friday announced that they have successfully held the first test flight of Vahana- an electric, pilotless flying vehicle that will have the capacity to ship people around cities.

The Wednesday flight at a test range in the US territory of Oregon kept going for a minute, with the airplane lifting up five meters (16 feet) starting from the ground and landing without a pilot, the European aerospace firm said in a statement.

"Our aim has long been to design and build a single passenger electric VTOL self-piloted aircraft that will answer the growing need for urban mobility. Our goal is to democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision. Our first flights mark a huge milestone for Vahana as well as the global pursuit of urban air mobility," Vahana's Project Executive Zach Lovering wrote on Medium.

Propelled by eight rotors that enable it to take off and arrive vertically, Vahana finished the second test run on Thursday. An extra testing which includes forward  flight will be done soon.

The airship, which has been under development for for two years is designed to allow only one traveller and fly independently, according to its website.

“In just under two years, Vahana took a concept sketch on a napkin and built a full-scale, self-piloted aircraft that has successfully completed its first flight. Our team is grateful for the support we’ve received from A³ and the extended Airbus family, as well as our partners including MTSI and the Pendleton UAS Range,” Lovering further wrote.

Autonomous driving technology has gained impressive momentum lately with hi-tech firms and established automakers putting test vehicles on the streets, while a modest bunch of creators and start-ups have created flying autos.

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