Vahana is a self-flying taxi concept created by Airbus.
Project Vahana started in early 2016 as one of the first projects at A³ (pronounced “A-cubed”), the advanced projects and partnerships outpost of Airbus Group in Silicon Valley.
At Vahana, we are passionate about personal flight. The aircraft we’re building doesn’t need a runway, is self-piloted, and can automatically detect and avoid obstacles and other aircraft. Designed to carry a single passenger or cargo, we’re aiming to make it the first certified passenger aircraft without a pilot. We aim to fly a full-size prototype before the end of 2017, and to have a productizable demonstrator by 2020.
Today, many of the technical and regulatory challenges to scalable, affordable flight are trending favorably:
- Battery safety and energy density are now adequate for airborne applications.
- Low-cost, reliable avionics are becoming broadly available, leveraging decades of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) development.
- Mature obstacle detection and avoidance technology can enable safe aircraft takeoff and landing, and provides reliable collision avoidance in flight.
- Recent advances in automated composite manufacturing and assembly show that small, lightweight vehicles can be produced at high volumes and significantly lower costs than traditional aerospace methods have previously allowed.