Britain’s first passenger drone company claims it has found the answer to the dismal morning commute.
Entrepreneur Martin Warner, 45, claims his new ultra-sleek drone will be able to transport commuters from Charing Cross to Heathrow in just 12 minutes.
Scheduled for unveiling this Spring, the drone will be the first in the world to carry passengers – and could revolutionise city commutes.
It flies at 70mph (110km/h) at a cruising altitude of 1,500 ft (450m) with a range of 80miles (130km).
Mr Warner, who co-invented full colour 3D desktop printing, envisions a wide range of drone-based, battery-powered air vehicles for both commercial and private use, which he calls the ‘new gold rush in transportation and aviation.’
His company, Autonomous Flight, has offices in both the UK and the US and expects the passenger drones to be available to the public within the next five years.
Britons currently spend on average 30 hours a year in congestion.
The aim is to make the drones available to individual commuters for about the same price as a car, as well as a replacement for mass transport vehicles such as trains and busses.
‘I’m delighted to be able to say that Autonomous Flight is now much more than just a concept – it is truly coming to life after a lot of hard work,’ says Mr Warner.
‘Through it, we are creating a fleet of completely autonomous passenger drones (known as APDs), with the ultimate goal of solving transportation challenges, such as congestion and pollution, that have become so prominent across global cities.
‘I’m extremely excited by what 2018 has in store – in the Spring, our first autonomously-flown vehicle, the Y6S, will take to the skies and signal the start of a revolution in passenger transport.’
Autonomous Flight is set to unveil Y6S, a two-seater electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (VTOL), in London in March.
Developed by engineers in Kent, the craft’s first manned test flight is scheduled for the end of the year.
It is expected to sell for £20,000 ($27,500).
Although the Civil Aviation Authority is currently assessing its regulations for pilotless air travel, Autonomous Flight says a public shuttle could take commuters across London in less than 15 minutes for as little as £25 ($35).
The firm has plans to extend its drone service to other cities.