With traffic jams a common occurrence in the world’s cities, the skies could offer a tangible solution a few years from now, with the Boston Consulting Group predicting that people around the world will take 1 billion flights in air taxis in 2030 — and most of those vehicles will be capable of operating without a pilot.
Bosch is working on sensor technology to make air taxis safe, comfortable, and convenient.
Harald Kröger, president of Bosch Automotive Electronics division (www.bosch.com
), said: “The first flying taxis are set to take off in major cities in 2023 at the latest, and Bosch plans to play a leading role in shaping this market.”
He also said that conventional aerospace technology is too expensive, bulky and heavy to be used in autonomous flying taxis.
“However, modern sensors that are used for automated driving or in the ESP anti-skid system could have the potential to bridge this gap.
“That is why a team of engineers has combined dozens of sensors to create a universal control unit for flying taxis.”
This control unit is designed to ensure that the position of the flying taxis can be determined at all times, allowing them to be controlled with precision and safety.
Acceleration and yaw-rate sensors that accurately measure the vehicles’ movements and angle of attack, for example, provide the necessary data.
Unlike current sensor systems in the aerospace sector, some of which cost tens of thousands or even several hundred thousand euros, Bosch can make use of its solution for a fraction of the cost.
Marcus Parentis, the head of the technology team at Bosch in charge of the control units, said: “Through our Bosch solution, we aim to make civil aviation with flying taxis affordable for a wide range of providers.
“Furthermore, the Bosch sensors are especially small and lightweight. We are talking with air taxi manufacturers in the aerospace and automotive industries, as well as with start-ups that build air vehicles and are looking to provide sharing services.
“The question isn’t whether flying taxis will become reality, but when.”