Drones are booming in every industry. Their usage over the past decade has taken off to great heights. Apart from photography and surveillance, drones have taken a giant leap into one of the most widespread industry in the world, transportation. Drones are known to carry a small payload, but some of these models have been built to carry passengers which is a significant advancement in drone technology. With rising global warming concerns and decreasing fossil fuels we require a better and greener alternative for means of transport. Moreover, due to the rapid urbanization, road transport has become stagnant and time consuming. Air travel via commercial airliners is an immediate fix but is again costly. This where drones show their potential in stepping up the transportation industry.
Larger drones can carry astounding amounts of payloads for a longer duration of time. The advancement of AI technology has made UAVs safer than ever. Transportation of goods and people via drones is not only safer but also greatly cost effective and has no negative impact on the ecosystem. Many e-commerce giants have begun testing, trial and initial implementation of drones for delivering their products. Countries like China, Dubai and the U.S are working their way to unveil passenger drones on a commercial basis. Transportation through UAVs adds on to loads of advantages. Several thousand people around the world die everyday due to delay in aid in emergency scenarios which is credited to staggering traffic. This can be prevented by passenger drones.
With the exponential growth of drones, these are the some the top passenger drones and the companies that created them:
This drone was one of the first UAVs built for human transportation. Ehang is the only company to have tested more than 1000 flights with passengers seated inside their drones. It is a very compact drone and uses eight propellers to generate lift. Its flight distance on a single charge is up to 10 miles. Ehang is built completely for autonomous transportation. It requires no human input and serves as a perfect AI guided taxi service.
A German engineered drone which resembles a helicopter is the future of Dubai’s air transport. The Volocopter’s 18 propellers are mounted on top of its frame and it’s the only drone to use fiber optic cables for it’s network communications.
It is one of the few passenger drones that hold a parachute system in case of an emergency. It can be flown via single joystick or in fully autonomous settings once the regulations come at par. The Volocopter recently completed its first flights in Dubai.
Watch the massive drone fly:
Uber is best known for its on road taxi services which has now taken its roots in almost every country. They plan to take their services several notches higher by introducing a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) flying taxi which will be an ‘on-demand aviation’ service just like their automobile platform.
There are many such companies like the Airbus which are also trying to get their autonomous passenger carrying drones into the market but most of them are bound by drone laws and regulations. With the rapid pace at which countries around the globe are looking at making the regulations drone-friendly, one can see drone taxis taking to the air much sooner than imagined.