The company is also talking about related program that would work like an automated aerial bus system. Instead of providing curbside service, this system would incorporate a network of local helipads in dense urban areas. Customers looking to catch a sky ride would need to hustle over to the nearest landing site. Via Vahana, maybe.
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Airbus already has a vehicle in mind for this short-range sky bus service, but details are being kept strictly under wraps. The company says it can carry several passengers and incorporates multiple propellers. Currently going by the working name of CityAirbus, it's being developed by the company's helicopters division. Both the sky taxis and sky buses would likely be piloted by a human initially, but each is being designed with eventual full automation in mind.
In the company magazine, Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders does what top executives are supposed to do in corporate publications. He thinks big, out loud:
"I'm no big fan of Star Wars, but it's not crazy to imagine that one day our big cities will have flying cars making their way along roads in the sky," Enders says. "In a not too distant future, we'll use our smartphones to book a fully automated flying taxi that will land outside our front door -- without any pilot."
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