Airbus Planning To Test Self-Flying Car Much Sooner Than You’d Think

A highway filled with autonomous vehicles seems inevitable, although some question how far-off that reality is. But Airbus is planning to populate the space above the roads with autonomous vehicles, and it’s not wasting any time developing them.

The aerospace group announced Monday that its Urban Air Mobility division plans to test a prototype for a self-piloted flying car by the end of the year, Reuters reports. Airbus said the project could help reduce congestion on city streets, and is the logical next step in human transportation.

“One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said, via Reuters. “Now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground.”

Even though the idea of a flying car seems like pure fiction, Airbus reportedly isn’t messing around.

“We are in an experimentation phase, we take this development very seriously,” Enders said.

Enders added that making greater use of the skies could save money in the long run by avoiding the costs of maintaining city infrastructures.

The ultimate goal of Airbus’s Urban Air Mobility division is exploring different concepts that could serve as autonomous ride-sharing vehicles that people would book using an app.

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