To the Airport in Just Four Minutes: Prague’s Future ‘Flying Taxis’
Aerospace developers have been exploring new technology that would allow people to airlift between cities using AI-controlled drones, allowing Prague passengers to transport between Prague’s main station Hlavní nádraží to Vaclav Havel Airport in a matter of minutes.
This technology is not a part of a new sci-fi movie, but rather it is the future of air transport that was presented by experts at the Aerospace Research and Test Institute on Monday.
While the construction of the new metro connection in the direction of the airport is still nowhere in sight, Czech experts have begun working on the concept of air travel.
This new project seeks to provide fast transport at an affordable price, within the price range of a regular taxi, except it will be transporting you 400 meters in the air. “A new chapter of Czech industry, business, and aviation is beginning,” says Josef Kašpar, Director General of VZLU.
According to him, the new mode of transport will be designed primarily to help Prague, “but also to the regions, because a network of motorways or railways is not everywhere. In addition, the platform will not only be for personal transport but also cargo transport” says Kašpar.
“We need influence on deciding what will be built where, and not to wait for developers to occupy all the places. We are communicating with the state administration and with the regions, and believe the concept will be a success, not only in Prague but also the rest of the Czech Republic, because it has potential” Kašpar adds.
“The drone carrying the cabin is a robot that will be moving along a pre-planned route,” said Petr Raška, head of the Unmanned Systems Department of VZLU, yesterday when presenting the Czech prototype, designated MiYa.
Raška also states that “During the journey, it will be necessary to communicate with passengers from the ground control post, to be informed of what is happening on board, therefore there will be video cameras so that the supervisor from the ground can monitor the flight, even more so the aircraft, at the same time,”.
MiYa is designed for a flight altitude of up to four kilometers, but according to Raška, there will be no reason to fly that high.
“We expect a height of 400 metres above Prague. Because Prague is relatively rugged, we need height for possible maneuvers,” he explains.
For the time being, the take-off and landing stands, or the so-called vertiports, are planned for the Hlavní nádraží, Vítězné náměstí, Letňany, Pankrác, Chodov and Ruzyně Airport.
“We are heading to the middle of the next decade, where we expect transport to be emission-free. It will be an alternative to land transport, and for a reasonable price, comparable to that of a taxi,” says Raška.
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