Traffic in the Bay Area can be a nightmare.
Technology unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas aimed at making residents’ morning and evening commutes considerably shorter.
The goal, according to Silicon Valley company Volocopter GmbH, is to get people out of their cars and into drones. It’s an Uber or Lyft ride of the future, if you will.
The VC200 Air Taxi from Volocopter, an 18-rotor drone people can sit in, flies to places in the Bay Area.
“It’s battery powered,” said Helena Treeck of Volocopter. “You've got no emission.
The Air Taxi cuts down on travel times significantly. A car ride from San Jose to San Francisco could take over an hour, but Volocopter promises to do it in 15 minutes.
“You'll be willing to pay a bit more,” Treeck noted. “That being said, we don't want this to be a rich person's toy. We want it to be an addition to public transit."
Backed by Intel, the electric Volocopter is made to switch batteries after each flight. It's been taking test runs and the company leaders claim it can travel for 30 minutes at a stretch – quietly.
“It's quiet,” Treeck said, “and when you have hundreds of them whizzing around the city, it can't be loud."
Treeck estimated that each drone ride will have a range of about 15 to 17 miles. People can expect to see them in the air in roughly three to five years.