By: Nick Gambino
Just as we were getting used to the idea of a self-driving car on the road, here comes Airbus with the idea for a self-FLYING car.
As a brilliant solution for traffic jams (depending on who you ask), the idea of a flying car isn’t new. In fact Sci-Fi authors have been writing about the concept ever since the car hit mainstream.
Just last year Airbus created a new division, Urban Air Mobility. It seems one of its main job is to figure out how to transport several people at once from one area to another via overhead airspace. Think Uber for the sky. Maybe they should call it “Airber.” Nailed it.
According to Reuters, Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, had this to say at a recent tech conference in Munich, “One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground.”
He acknowledged the benefit of having travel options that didn’t require much in the way of infrastructure, at least not as much as cars and trains require.
“With flying, you don’t need to pour billions into concrete bridges and roads,” Enders pointed out. He also acknowledged the need for the technology to be clean so as to avoid further pollution in major metropolitan areas.
While I’ve been excited about flying cars ever since my first viewing of Back to the Future II when I was a kid, it really didn’t seem feasible until now. With the major advances in technology just since the turn of the century we’re looking at the real possibility of flying cars in the next handful of years.
Airbus isn’t the only company pursuing the idea of flying cars/taxis. It comes as no surprise that this is something Uber is looking into as well. (Guess I jumped the gun on that “Airber” moniker.)
Chief Product Officer over at Uber, Jeff Holden, stated the car ride giant’s intent in a white paper last year, “From here, Uber will be reaching out to cities, vehicle manufacturers, prospective representative users, and community groups along with key business, infrastructural and regulatory stakeholders to listen, learn, and explore the implications of this urban air transportation movement.”
It’s a race to the sky. I for one am excited to see who wins!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.