Digital technology is changing rapidly, self-driving cars already exist. And soon we will have flying taxi’s bringing us from place to place as well. Nothing seems impossible! Every week we discuss a trend to keep you up to date.This week we cover the trend “intelligent things, which will increasingly be woven together into a fabric that will enhance our lives.

2017’s Tech trend 3: intelligent things

Intelligent things such as robots, drones, and autonomous vehicles, will not only appear on the market in various models and designs. But they will have a substantial impact on other sectors and they will make new (digital) business models possible as well. It will be a beginning of networks of intelligent things in which they are able to communicate with one another without the interference of people. This is an essential requirement to build, for instance, a successful ecosystem of self-driving cars.

Self-flying Taxi

To illustrate an example of intelligent things, think of Airbus, which unveiled its plans to create a fleet of self-flying taxis last year. And when you think of a flying car, you might think of The Jetsons. Even many people who were not born in the 1960’s –including me– know The Jetsons. The animated sitcom about an American family living in the future was repeated over and over again on the television. The Jetsons got in their car every morning. At the point the family got in, it flown away! When it’s up to Airbus this will be realized in a few years.

Aibus plans on testing its first prototype by the end of 2017. The prototype is a single-person vehicle that has the size between a helicopter and a mini-airplane. Eventually, passengers will be able to summon the self-flying taxi with their smartphone.

Airbus isn’t the only organisation that took a good look at the Jetsons. The German company E-volvo successfully tested a completely electronic and autonomous self-flying helicopter last year. And Tesla’s Elon Musk spoke early in 2016 about dreaming of a vertical take-off electrical airplane.

Problem

One of the biggest problems that the autonomous self-flying taxi will face is: how does it prevent crashing into other vehicles? This even happens with the first autonomous self-driving cars sometimes. The avoid-and-sense technique, that should prevent this, is already applied in the air. Chinese drone builder DJI sells a drone that will minimize the risk of collision for 3300 Dollar.

But even when autonomous drones will be completely accepted and approved, we still have a long way to go until an autonomous flying helicopter-taxi is picking us up and bringing us home. Without crashing.

The future

Airbus is however completely serious. The company sees a solution in personalized aviation for the ever-growing issue of traffic during rush hour. What a taxi drive is going to cost? That we don’t know yet. Enders is emphasising, though, that using the skies could also reduces costs for city infrastructure planners. Does this mean that we will, just like the Jetsons, go to our work with a flying-taxi in the future? We will see! Anyway, it seems that the, in our memory fictive Jetsons, possibly will have a permanent influence on our future.

Read our blog post about technology trend intelligent applications.

Source: article: The Jetsons worden werkelijkheid (http://www.trouw.nl)