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Boeing's Self-Driving Air Taxi Completes First Test Flight

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Boeing's prototype self-piloting air taxi.

In the first flight of Boeing's prototype self-driving air taxi in Manassas, VA, last week, the vehicle successfully took off, hovered, and landing using autonomous navigation and landing systems.

Credit: Boeing

A prototype self-driving air taxi from Boeing's research and development (R&D) unit completed its first flight in Manassas, VA, last week, successfully taking off, hovering, and landing using autonomous navigation and landing systems.

The 30-foot-long air taxi has a 28-foot wingspan, with vertical rotors allowing it to hover or fly forward for up to 50 miles; an upcoming test will gauge the aircraft's ability to fly forward.

Boeing's R&D arm, NeXt, collaborates with technologists and government regulatory agencies to plan the eventual rollout of self-piloting air vehicles.

This year Boeing aims to test-fly an unmanned cargo plane that can carry up to 500 pounds.

Boeing NeXt's Steve Nordlund said the project is part of an overarching initiative to reduce metropolitan traffic congestion as the company seeks to "usher in a future of safe, low-stress mobility in cities and regions around the world."

From The Washington Post
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