(Yicai Global) May 23 - Airbus has revealed that the cost of a trip in its self-driving flying taxi will be just £1-2 per mile. That's about the same as it would cost you to get a normal taxi, which is pretty astonishing when you think about it. In an exclusive chat with Business Insider, Airbus has revealed some tantalising new information about its Vahana flying taxi.
With eight rotors and a single seat, Vahana is designed for medium-distance travel of around 62-miles.
To keep it safe it'll have a comprehensive army of sensors guiding it including radar, LIDAR, cameras, GPS and more. All combined Vahana will be able to autonomously fly from A to B while avoiding birds, other aircraft or even intelligently reacting to incidents as they happen. There's a parachute on board as well for emergencies.
Vahana is set for its first test flight later this year, and the company wants the final version to start entering service as soon as 2020.
So who would you order one of these flying taxis? The whole ordering process will take place within an app.
You'll choose the nearest helipad, and if there's an aircraft available you'll be good to go. While you're travelling to the helipad it'll carry out pre-flight checks to make sure it's ready to fly. The use of electric engines also makes flight turnarounds quicker and cheaper as not only are there smaller maintenance costs but you'll be able to quickly re-charge or simply swap the aircraft's batteries.