Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Airbus Working On GPU-Powered Autonomous Air Taxis

With self-driving cars generating so much buzz, it’s hard to believe that a self-piloting air taxi is, err,  flying under the radar. But not for long. GTC attendees packed a conference room Tuesday to hear from Arne Stoschek, head of autonomous systems at Airbus A3 (pronounced “A-cubed”), the Silicon Valley-based advanced products and partnerships outpost of Airbus Group.

Stoschek is part of the team working on A3’s Vahana project, which aims to bring a self-piloted air taxi to the Bay Area’s skies. The all-electric aircraft features rotating wings that allow propellers to be aligned vertically for takeoff and landing, and horizontally for flight. It’s designed to fly a single passenger or load of cargo over short distances. The design makes airports unnecessary. The Vahana team envisions heliports atop buildings or parking structures. Each aircraft requires a landing area the size of two parking spaces.