Traffic jams in cities are not fun, let’s face it. Commuting to work in an endless stream of exhaust smoke makes the mere task of getting to work an extreme undertaking.
So what if you could jump in your own jet and zoom across the city instead?
This is a future that is getting closer and closer. Imagine: instead of spending hours and hours bumper to bumper, or in a crush to get on that last full bus or train to work on time, you sidle out of your home, hop in your own personal jet plane and zoom…up in the air and across town in a matter of minutes you go.
Here are some real vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) passenger drones to whet your workaday whistle:
Yep, that’s what it is called. Self-explanatory – does what it says. When we first covered Passenger Drone, they had just flown their first test flights with passengers on board.
16 electric engines make this octocopter an economical, smooth ride. Passenger Drone has since been acquired by Astro Aerospace – and we can’t wait to see what their next development is.
Look out Star Wars fans. The Russian-made hoverbike, first created as a promotional vehicle by Russian company Hoversurf back in 2016, has since become much more than that.
Capable of flying at speeds of 100km.hr, the Scorpion-3 was later unveiled at the 2017 Gitex Technology in Dubai, by no less than the Dubai police.
Reports are that a Scorpion-3 fleet is to be purchased by the Dubai police as part of their high-tech fight against crime.
When Chinese drone manufacturer released a video of their first passenger drone test flight earlier this year, we were impressed.
In fact, CMO Derrick Xiong claims that EHANG has flown the most VTOL test flights out of all the VTOL developers – 30-40 prototypes and around 1,500 flights in all.
One prototype has even flown in a type 7 typhoon – though we’d prefer to just keep to a daily commute, thank you very much.
Possibly our favourite, this sleek VTOL electric jet is like something out of a 1980s video game.
Lilium conducted their maiden flight in April of this year, and the company says their VTOL jet can reach speeds of 300km/hr.
With one of the world’s top auto designers – Frank Stephenson – on board, it really has got to be one of the sexiest ways one could imagine getting from A to B.
This Slovakian company has stayed somewhat under the radar, but we don’t think they should be underestimated.
The AeroMobil 5.0 VTOL is a cross between a plane and a car, no less, using two rotors to achieve vertical takeoff and landing, with the ability to land and switch to wheel-driven land transportation.
The company released a video of a test flight of the model 3.0 prototype back in 2015, and we think these quiet achievers may be one to keep an eye on.
Germany-based Volocopter made waves at CES2018 earlier this year when Intel’s then CEO Brian Krzanic became Volocopter’s very first passenger.
The autonomous octocopter is intended as a futuristic air taxi, and Volcopter have even designed a concept around how their air taxis might integrate into cities by landing and picking up passengers on rooftops.
This is truly a vision of the future.
Kitty Hawk’s Cora
Backed by Google’s Larry Page, this electric plane uses 12 propellers to take off vertically before zooming forwards at speeds of over 150km/hr.
Cora really is close to becoming a part of everyday life in one country at least; they have been working with New Zealand with a view to getting commercially airborne by 2021.
At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March of this year, a collaboration between Airbus and Audi was unveiled: the Popup.Next.
Taking the concept of car-slash-plane one step further, this concept vehicle is a modular design that allows the small 2-seater car module to disconnect from the VTOL module, allowing the best in terms of flexibility and mobility.
Additionally, Airbus and Audi brought on board Italdesign – future mobility has never been more stylish.