Back in November, we heard about Uber’s plans to add flying-car-like air taxis to its existing transport system. At the time, it wasn’t clear just what form those vehicles would take. This Tuesday, however, the company announced that it has selected Virginia-based Aurora Flight Sciences as a partner to develop an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for its Uber Elevate Network – and a functioning model of it has already been flown.
The concept combines technologies from several other projects that Aurora has been working on.
Its battery electric propulsion system, for instance, is derived from the XV-24A X-plane demonstrator designed for the US Department of Defense. The autonomous flight guidance system, meanwhile, is adapted from the Centaur optionally-piloted aircraft, while the perception and collision avoidance system was developed for the US Navy’s Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System (AACUS).
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