Airbus Vahana is a project in the pipeline by A³, which is the regional office of Airbus Group in San Jose, California. To be more specific the Vahana is the airbus, which you can see from the name. The new craft will completely abandon any kinds of roads and it will be able to take off and land successfully without a pilot. The purpose of this craft is to deliver people or packages from place A to B. The craft will have eight rotors and once it is finished it will be tested above the Bay Area.
The CEO of the project, Rodin Lyasoff wrote:“We seek to help enable truly vertical cities by opening up urban airways in a predictable and controlled manner. We believe that full automation will allow us to achieve higher safety by minimizing human error. Our aircraft will follow predetermined flight paths, with only minor deviations if obstacle avoidance is needed.”
The design has been completed, as you can see in these renderings. According to the CEO, the prototype will be assembled by the end of next year, whereas 2023 is the year we will see a demonstrator model. The start of the project was in May 2015.
The Vahana will be equipped with eight rotors, four in the back and four in the front. These rotors can set either a horizontal or vertical position, depending on whether the airbus is taking off, or flying forward. Furthermore, it will contain forward and rear wings, to which rotors will be attached. We are not familiar which companies work on this project, but next update “share a deep dive on our system design and analysis”.
There are many advances to this project, but the main flaw may be that the airbus can only carry one passenger at the time. This is the serious issue in the US since a majority of the Americans drive to work alone and thus congesting roads. The same way you can see the crowd in the sky one day.