Passenger Drone the latest to unveil autonomous manned flying vehicle

America’s Passenger Drone is the latest startup to announce plans for an autonomous flying vehicle for personal use.

Passenger Drone’s design is still in the prototype stage but the company has already demonstrated the vehicle’s flying abilities, made possible by 16 electric rotors and lightweight carbon fiber construction. Those 16 rotors are all powered separately to ensure the vehicle can stay in the air in case there’s an issue with one of the rotors.

The vehicle is slightly larger than a compact car, can fit two adults, and takes off and lands vertically. Its operation is also fully autonomous and the range will be around 20 miles. All you need to do is enter a destination via a touchscreen display and the vehicle will handle the rest. Speeds of up to 50 mph are said to be possible and there’s a joystick controller should you want manual control.

Passenger Drone autonomous manned flying vehicle

Passenger Drone autonomous manned flying vehicle

The avionics, stability systems and electrical control systems have been developed specifically for the vehicle. An interesting aspect is the use of optic fibers to send data between key elements of the vehicle, from the joystick controller to the central computer to the electric motors and the navigation screens. It means no wiring is required, helping to save additional weight.

The number of startups attempting to develop an autonomous flying vehicle for personal use is growing at a rapid pace, and in recent years we’ve started to see some major companies enter the space.

Only last month Daimler announced a multimillion-dollar investment in German startup Volocopter. Volocopter’s design is similar to Passenger Drone’s and uses 18 rotors instead of 16. Volocopter demonstrated its design in Dubai this week and even had Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed test out its vehicle. The Sheikh’s flight lasted 5.0 minutes and reached a height of more than 600 feet. Dubai wants to be among the first cities to offer a flying taxi service.

Check Also

Toyota teases off-road FT-AC concept coming to Los Angeles auto show

The 2017 Los Angeles auto show will play host to numerous world debuts, and today Toyota announced it will unveil a new concept vehicle dubbed the FT-AC. The FT-AC, or "Future Toyota Adventure Concept," will mark the third rugged concept vehicle from the brand this year. Toyota didn't provide any additional details, but judging by the teaser image we're in...

Skier Jon Olsson shows off his monstrous 800-hp Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4

Jon Olsson isn't just a professional freeskier and ski racer, he's also a horsepower junkie. Why do we say that? Because he owns multiple wild creations that make in excess of 800 horsepower, including one of the most rambunctious Rolls-Royce Wraiths we've ever seen. Now, there's this: his new 800-hp Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4. Absolute Motors, a performance...