Not all automated vehicles will drive on roads, says Barry Kirk, executive director of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence. They’ll also be in the sky, and sooner than many people think.
“What was once science fiction is now becoming fact,” Kirk said in a presentation to the Automated Vehicles 2017 conference, which he called “The Jetsons, Part 2.” The event was hosted by the Conference Board of Canada.
Kirk gave examples of flying cars that are close to production, such as the Ehang 184, which is testing in Dubai. It’s an electric, single-seat, autonomous drone that Dubai’s Road and Transportation Agency wants to launch as a taxi service this summer.
“This is a personal airborne vehicle, or PAV,” said Kirk. “And this isn’t science fiction. The Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates has said he wants to have 25 per cent of all passenger trips in driverless vehicles by 2030, and he includes in that both ground and aerial AVs.
“If you think AVs are disruptive, wait until you see PAVs.”