Tag Archive | "Autonomous"

Lilium eVTOL Jets Aim To Be First To Offer Ride-Sharing Autonomous Flights

Lilium is a company whose vision is to enable a world where anyone can fly, anywhere anytime, according to Lilium’s Head of Program Management, Andrew Welling. “We’re doing that via an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jets,” he says. “By 2025, we hope that everyone will be able to order one of our jets at the push of a button.” Eventually, Lilium aims to go completely autonomous.

Andrew Welling, Head of Program Management at Lilium, discusses their goal of becoming the first company to offer autonomous ride-sharing electric jets in a feature produced by Amazon Web Services:

The World’s First eVTOL Jets

Lilium is a company whose vision is to enable a world where anyone can fly, anywhere anytime. We’re doing that via an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jets. It’s the world’s first eVTOL jets. We are hoping to have a service operational in the early 2020s. By 2025, we hope that everyone will be able to order one of our Jets at the push of a button. Our Jets our vertical takeoff and landing jets which means that they can take off from a normal helipad. They take off vertically, rising to a few hundred meters before they transition into a forward flight.

For sure, our batteries are not light, they are obviously one of the heaviest components in our aircraft. But fundamentally, for the future of transport, it’s really important that we move to a world where we’re no longer reliant on fossil fuels. Our services are more like a ride-sharing air taxi service so we want this service to be accessible for anyone and not just the privileged few. The idea is that you’d be able to order a jet via an app on your phone. You would go to initially a defined landing pad to meet the jet, but pretty much it would be an on-demand service. You would be ride-sharing with others who are going to the same destination as you are.

The world’s first eVTOL jet.

The Aim is Autonomous Flight

One of the greatest things about our design is the efficiency that you get through having a wing on the aircraft which can tilt. That means we can take off and land vertically but then when we transition to forward flights we actually get the efficiencies that you get from a winged aircraft. Initially, we will have a pilot on board but the aim is eventually to go to autonomous flight.

We’re building our headquarters in Munich, Germany. That’s where we’re building up both our engineering teams, our production teams, and eventually where our core airline operations will be based. Our target is to have a service operational somewhere in the world by 2025.

Lilium eVTOL Jets Aims To Be First in Offering Ride-Sharing Autonomous Flights

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Autonomous Driving is Coming No Matter What, Says SoftBank CEO

Autonomous driving is coming no matter what,” says Says SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. “That’s the destiny of where technology is going to drive us.” He adds: “When autonomous driving comes the cost of providing the service will dramatically get more efficient. It will also dramatically reduce the rate of accidents compared to human driving accidents. I think autonomous driving will be definitely coming very very soon.”

Uber Still Experimenting with Autonomous Vehicles

Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, also discusses his support for both current Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and former Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick in an interview on CNBC:

I Definitely Believe Uber is Going to Grow Exponentially

I would like SoftBank to remain invested in Uber as long as possible. Of course, it all depends on the share price (after their IPO). Sometimes the share price goes up too high too quickly and then we have to harvest a little bit. It all depends on the market conditions. But do I believe the company is going to grow exponentially?  I definitely believe so.

I’m very respectful (of our) dialogue with the new management (led by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi). He’s very very smart and very well balanced. He can be very offensive (strategically) in increasing the business and he can also be very cost-efficient (and good with) employee morale and so on.

Travis Kalanick is a Pioneer

I respect that but at the same time, I also have to mention that I respect (Uber co-founder and former CEO) Travis (Kalanick) tremendously. He’s one of the best entrepreneurs. He is a pioneer. When you pioneer a new frontier you have to have the energy, the passion, and out-of-the-box thinking. His aggressive is one of the best. Potentially, I would love to support him in his new ventures. It all depends on the price. But I have tremendous respect for him.

Autonomous Driving is Coming No Matter What, Says SoftBank CEO

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