CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today CLICK HERE

Airbus reveals autonomous electric flying taxi Vahana

PUBLISHED: 09:59 23 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:29 24 November 2016

Could this ‘autonomous electric taxi aircraft’ be the future?

Could this ‘autonomous electric taxi aircraft’ be the future?


TAXI! And no need to tip the driver

A3 (‘A-cubed’), the advanced projects and partnerships outpost of Airbus Group in Silicon Valley, California, has contracted Modern Technology Solutions Inc to develop a flying prototype of an ‘autonomous electric taxi aircraft’ in a project called Vahana. Oregon based SOAR will carry out flight testing.

A3 says project Vahana’s goal is to create ‘the first certified passenger aircraft without a pilot… to help enable truly vertical cities by opening up urban airways in a predictable and controlled manner.’

‘We believe this mode of operation will be compatible with future airspace management systems and will allow more aircraft to share the sky. Full automation also enables us to make our aircraft as small and light as possible, and will significantly reduce manufacturing costs.’

The aircraft will carry a single passenger or cargo. A3’s aim is to have a full-size prototype flying by the end of 2017, a demonstrator by 2020, and a production model ready for the market in ten years.

The company predicts a demand for ‘millions’ worldwide.


You may also like:

Supersonic business jet planned by Lockheed Martin

Airlander 10 scheduled to fly in early 2017

Cirrus Vision Jet receives certification

More from Features

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The world of aviation has long been known as a male dominated occupation and hobby. Thankfully it is becoming an increasingly popular vocation for women to discover and enjoy. We have decided to reflect and celebrate the women who made some of the most groundbreaking achievements with regards to aviation history.

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Proving very popular on the Continent, the ultralight Belgian-built SV4-RS imitates the original Stampe but is not (officially) aerobatic | Words Stefan Degraef - Photos Edwin Borremans

Read more
Friday, October 19, 2018

That’s the Provost, the fine-handling 1950s RAF trainer cleverly configured to lead into fast jets | Words: Peter Turner - Photos: Peter March

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

The saying goes: ‘if there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt’. But sometimes we learn this the hard way | Words: James Anderson

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

Sharing Goodwood (formerly RAF Westhampnett) with another aircraft famed for its elegant shape and sonorous engine note, Bob, Tim and Emma go out to play | Words Bob Grimstead and Tim Cooper – Photos: Tim Cooper

Read more
Thursday, September 27, 2018

We’d entered cloud inadvertently and were climbing to avoid high ground, so why did the aircraft suddenly sound and feel so very strange? | By Alistair Macpherson

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

We round up the latest historic aircraft displays and restoration news. This month features RIAT 2018, RAF100 celebrations over London, RNAS Yeovilton, Flying Legends Airshow and much more | Compiled by Peter R March and Paul Fiddian

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How air-brained are you? Test your general aviation knowledge on matters including safety, history, training or anything related to flying! Compiled by James Allan

Read more
Monday, September 17, 2018

I see you… But do you see me? Part two of our series on electronic conspicuity focuses on the capabilities – and compatibility – of the existing technology

Read more
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tourer and tug − just two of the many uses to which the remarkable and long-lived DR400 design has been put | Words: Dave Unwin – Photos: Keith Wilson

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Pilot weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read

Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine