Skip to comments.Driverless Hover-Taxis to Take Off in Singapore
Posted on 10/24/2018 1:38:00 AM PDT by piasa
Test flights of a driverless hover-taxi will take place in Singapore next year, a German aviation firm said, the latest innovation to offer an escape from Asia's monster traffic jams.
Millions of commuters in the region's cities have to contend with chronic gridlock every day, sparking a race to develop new ways to avoid the snarl-ups.
While the developed city-state of Singapore does not suffer major congestion, it is seen as a perfect test-bed for new technologies due to its compact size and openness to innovation.
German firm Volocopter said Tuesday it will conduct the test flights in Singapore in the second half of next year with the support of the government.
Resembling a helicopter, Volocopter's electric air taxis take off and land vertically. They are based on drone technology and can fly two people for around 30 kilometres (19 miles), the firm said in a statement.
The Singapore tests follow a public demonstration in Dubai last year.
"The Volocopter is designed specifically for inner city missions," Volocopter said in a statement, adding it can withstand minor turbulence around skyscrapers, allowing for smooth rides.
"It is so quiet that at a flight height of 100 metres (330 feet), it cannot be heard over the typical background noise of a city."
A company spokeswoman said the Volocopter can be controlled by a pilot using a joystick, or remotely from the ground. Apart from the test flights, Volocopter will also set up a product design and engineering centre in Singapore to support its expansion plans.
Volocopter said they are getting ready to roll out their first fixed routes in cities.
The hover-taxis will complement helicopter-hailing services which are already taking off in some cities to beat traffic jams.
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-driverless-hover-taxis-singapore.html#jCp
Moreover, everyone has this idea about "flying cars", but no one really takes into account the skills required to fly them and to control the airspace.
New technology makes this more feasible than in the past, but it still would cost tens of billions to build and invoke this system. All to save a few passengers a little time in a congested city?
I don't see it happening.
So let's relocate the gridlock.
The computer network needed to safely control these copter/drones would have to be huge an unfailing to avoid crashes once there is more than a few of these.
Does Singapore have overhead utility lines? So many what ifs.
I’m in the aerospace industry and visited one of our divisions in Singapore in 2013.
My Taxi driver was a former engineer for Seagate (they moved his plant to viet Nam) so I asked him about Singapore. Singapore Taxi Drivers had to be Singapore citizens. Singapore is the most expensive city to live in/own a car I had ever been to (over $100K/car to own a Car, average house price over $600K USD). Taxi fees were about 1/2 what they are in Dallas, however (my 17 mile ride was about $25). Taxi drivers have to work about 80 hours a week to survive or have a good paying side hustle.
When I left for the airport @ 4:00 AM I saw 3 crashed Taxis on the 17 mile trip to the airport. My Driver said taxi drivers work so much they fall asleep at the wheel and crash.
What could possibly go wrong?
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