Drones Transportation will revolutionize the future of human traveling. Even though it sounds like a scene from the movie Metropolis, flying cars will soon be replaced with remote controlled flying machines called Drones. The overcrowded streets will soon be replaced with drones that can transport people using the sky as their transportation highway.
Self-driven cars that can be used on the streets are only a step away from commercial use. Tesla and other car companies that are trying to perfect these self driven vehicles have thus far specialized only in ground transportation, making only small improvements in sky transportation, or leaving the idea on the side completely.
Self driven flying Cars
Besides ground transportation, sky transportation, specifically the Drone Industry, is earnestly trying to develop a new way of transportation which will be more reliable, easier, faster, cleaner and less energy consuming. Many new companies are working on this field and competing within the field itself. Whether the companies are specializing in low or high altitude flights, the industry has only just seen the beginning.
The new players
The Chinese company Ehang is one of the leading companies that has been working on creating Drones for human transportation purposes in recent years. According to The Verge they have launched more than one thousand successful flights with humans on board. Their model Ehang 184 is fully electrical and can carry a single passenger up to 10 miles, or 23 minutes in the sky.
Volocopter is a German company which is another serious competitor in the race of transporting humans with drones. The company aims to increase the mobility of cities with its products and decrease transportation problems within these cities. Volocopter is a startup company which is going to test their product as a future aerial public vehicle in Dubai. In the next five years they will be testing their vehicle over the sky in Dubai. This startup could be the new star company, with funding of $30 million from Daimler publiched by Bussines Insider.
The old crew
Besides low altitude and short distance transportation UAV’s, there are companies that are developing longer distance and higher altitudes trips. The most well=known and those with the highest investments an dedication are Aurora Flight Sciences, Sikorsky and Boeing. This companies product’s, according to the Guardian,are categorized as passenger plane level UAV’s that can fly with a starting altitude of 120 meters and as high as 10 kilometers.
Drones Transportation Service
The global issue of high traffic density in cities is opening new approaches in both private and public transport. The number of people that can be transported is limited by the lack of weight carriage. Though at a certain point weight does limit the use of these UAVs, taxi and other transport services are taking the lead.
Dubai Drone Taxi Service
In 2017 the first drone taxi service was tested in Dubai. The Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed is following the process himself. Dubai aims to be the most sufficient smart city in the world including robots as on of their key factors. Since the first Drone Taxi test, they have been developing the concept for wider use of drones as regular transportation around the city. Starting from the 2018 summer until 2030 the city of Dubai aims to have 30% of their transportation be done using UAV’s.
UBER, the company that revolutionized modern taxi service, is opening a new field of action. UBER Elevate is creating a vertical take off and landing aircraft, which will be located on the top of buildings with easy to access to those wishing to take advantage of the new service. The company will be using their already proven method of renting, paying and ranking drivers on their app. According UBER, this Drones Transportation service is supported by Boeing’s Aurora, Bell Helicopters and NASA and will be available by 2020.
With revolutionary ideas always come big challenges. The wider public is concerned about the safety of these self-controlled vehicles. Thousands of tests have been done with the future products which have showed positive results, with even more research continuing to take place.
The level of technological development is a another factor in the wider usage of Drones Transportation. Some of the issues are The BIG data, artificial intelligence, development of better sensors and scanners, low flight time and range, and many other. Last but not least, is the price of research and the cost of production.
Maybe the most important factor that will determine whether cities are ready for this revolutionary idea is infrastructure. Today cities are not designed for drones neither any other infrastructure for the sky above them. The approach to urban planning needs to shift in order to accommodate the new vehicles.
The last and perhaps most difficult challenge to wide-scale use of UAVs are the governments regulations. These regulations will help to create a system where people are aware of the uses and limitations of the vehicles. These regulations need to be the guidelines to the future of this transportation, as well as the future of the development of cities.
The possibility of other challenges presenting themselves is to be expected, but in the mean time, we can all wait and witness Dubai as it becomes a pioneer city in the use of UAVs for human transport in the summer of 2018.