By 2020, we could finally have our flying car. A new drone created by the Israeli firm Urban Aeronautics can carry passengers, ferrying up to 1100 pounds at speeds of up to 115 miles per hour, according to Reuters.
Around the size of a regular car, the Cormorant AUV (named after the aquatic bird) completed its first solo flight in November – mostly successfully, although there were some issues with onboard sensors. Although it hasn’t yet met all FAA standards, Urban Aeronautics CEO Rafi Yoeli notes that, thanks to the 39 patents they’ve filed, they’re way ahead of the competition.
The vehicle has an estimated cost of about $14 million, and is scheduled for a 2020 release.
The drone uses internal rotors instead of propellers, so unlike a helicopter, it can fly between buildings and among power lines safely. It could potentially be used as a kind of drone ambulance, evacuating the wounded from conflicts or disasters where it might be dangerous to send pilots, or to deliver people into spaces too tight for a helicopter to navigate.
Would it fly just as well with a circular body?