By Mark McConville
INCREDIBLE images and video footage have captured the first manned flight on an autonomous drone that could revolutionise the daily commute.
The stunning footage shows a pilot flying the large red drone around a field as he tests out the autonomous manned aerial vehicle which can be piloted manually or passengers can simply select their destination, sit back and relax, as the drone takes over.
Striking images show the Passenger Drone in action outside, nestled in a studio as people try it out while others show the visual display unit used for flying it.
The aircraft commenced flight testing in early May 2017 and for the last few months has performed intensive testing with different simulated payload weights, simulated engine failures and different control modes.
In August 2017 first manned flights with passengers onboard took place, with the feedback being overwhelmingly positive.
“The Passenger Drone is very easy to fly in both manual and autonomous modes and it shows amazing stability and manoeuvrability,” said a spokesperson for the company.
“The social and economic benefits of such a vehicle are numerous. In cities around the world, traffic congestion costs commuters millions of hours every year and billions of dollars in lost productivity.
“The average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes, representing almost an hour every day and just less than two weeks annually.
“In 2016, the total cost of congestion to all drivers in the U.S. was $300 billion (including environmental costs), and that total is expected to rise by 50 percent over the next fifteen years. In many global megacities, the situation is far worse.”
Equipped with 16 electric engines, it’s a low-noise, high-speed, and economical mean of transportation which emits zero emissions.
Its engine system sheds the complexity of most quad-copters providing enhanced safety, performance, greater payload and range, and less noise than anything else available on the marketplace.
The vehicle’s structure is composed of lightweight and strong carbon fibre composites, specially created for Passenger Drone. The avionics, stability systems and electrical control systems have been custom designed especially for the Passenger Drone.
For more information see www.passengerdrone.com