Airbus Working On Self-Piloting Flying Taxi

#1
Forget Google pod-cars, Apple cars and Teslas with autopilot. Airbus Industries, the European passenger airliner maker, says they are working on autonomous flying taxis that people can call with their cellphones, small aircraft that fly themselves and land and take off vertically. The artist's conception makes them look like giant 'drones' with something like a car body and four lift-fans at the corners.

http://www.cnet.com/news/forget-self-dri...ying-taxi/


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It seems to me that the technology for autonomous aircraft is probably more advanced than the technology for autonomous cars. The military has been using 'drones' for some time, and in the air there is less danger of collisions than there is on the road. Landing will be a problem since the aircraft will have to identify safe landing spots. They will also have to avoid hitting buildings in urban environments.
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#2
"In fact, pilot error is the leading cause of commercial airline accidents, with close to 80% percent of accidents caused by pilot error, according to Boeing. The other 20% are mainly due to faulty equipment and unsafe, weather-related flying conditions.May 22, 2013"
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20130521...lane-crash

Even though the death toll from plane crashes is orders of magnitude lower than from car crashes, they tend to be much more dramatic, eliciting public calls for safety.  If pilotless air taxis prove safe enough, they should turn out to be a plus in the eyes of the public.
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#3
A flying Johnny Cab. Minus the conversational, homicidal automaton, I guess. I didn't know that Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager) was the voice and face of the robot driver in the Johnny Cab taxi.
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#4
(Aug 18, 2016 09:45 PM)elte Wrote: "In fact, pilot error is the leading cause of commercial airline accidents, with close to 80% percent of accidents caused by pilot error, according to Boeing.

I'm told that existing airliners are very close to having the technical capability to take off, fly to their destination and land, all without a pilot on board.

The difficulty with putting that kind of autonomy into practice is that the flying public, the passengers, wouldn't accept it. (I know that flying in a plane with nobody in the cockpit would scare the crap out of me, even if I knew that it would reduce pilot error.)
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