What Could Go Wrong: Autonomous Flying Taxi Drone Carries People

Today in What Could Go Wrong? – We take a look a self- flying single passenger taxi drone that can carry a person!

Back in October we mourned the passing of Back To The Future Day, the day Doc and Marty arrived in 2015, without the advent of flying cars as the second movie in the series had promised.

However, if a Chinese company has its way the skies in 2016 will soon be filled with the hum of the “Ehang 184” which is essentially a flying drone that can carry a full grown person. The company unveiled the all-electric craft with eight propellers at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. First Domino’s promised pizza drone delivery; soon you will be able to have a pizza and a prostitute dropped off in the same manner. Isn’t the future fantastic?

The best part is you won’t have to worry about a flying DeLorean crashing through your bedroom window or even having to talk to cabbie Bruce Willis from The Fifth Element.

That’s because users will leave the flying totally up to the computer. All you have to do is request a ride on a smart phone app- just like Uber. Then the taxi-drone flies over and picks you up and takes you where you want to go.

There are no controls in the cockpit, just a touch screen so you can type in where you want to go. The thing lifts off and at a maximum speed of 60 miles an hour gets you to your destination. For now the company says that these trips will be short distances around cities, within the ten mile range. It doesn’t sound far, but this could really free up the roads of congested cities with people trying to get across town.

The Ehang team plans on starting their program in China and is already applying to get permission to operate in the United States from the Federal Aviation Administration.

They say that in addition to having an air traffic control command center staffed by 300 people in order to help coordinate all the flights, that each Ehang 184 will have Fail Safe System to ensure safety. If any damage happens to the craft mid-flight the computer systems and multiple sets of censors can operate to safely land. In addition there is one human override button the passenger can hit to “hover in midair” in case of emergency. Which sort of sounds like when a rollercoaster gets everyone stuck upside down.

So before you get too excited about zipping around town in a flying taxi at a moment’s notice, we ask you:

What Could Go Wrong?!

One Last Joyride

To me if you want to go out with a bang, this sounds like an easy and fun way to do it. Not everyone has access to a tall building and jumping in a flying drone and opening the door a thousand feet above the ground might sadly be an alternative for those people looking for one last joyride. The traffic report might start to include how many humans it’s raining out.

Drunk Hipsters

If you have ever stood outside a bar at closing time watching drunken hipsters staring at their phones, waiting for an Uber on the sidewalk and nearly falling into traffic, you can imagine the inherent dangers of aircraft with eight rotating propeller blades descending on the scene. I’m guessing a few Ehang 184 riders might get a beard trimming or even a head trimming.

The Terrorists

I mean, sure the terrorists could just do this with regular cars, but everyone is going to scream: “What about the terrorists!?” Yes, I’m sure the terrorists could fill a flying drone taxi with bombs and cause a lot of damage. However if we don’t have an automated taxi drone flying your drunk ass to Taco Bell after a night of drinking the terrorists have won!

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney

Source: Daily Mail