AI Podcast: AI to Take Our Vehicles Up, Up and Away

by Allison Toh

What if you could cut your commute from Silicon Valley to San Francisco to just 20 minutes from the 90 minutes it might have taken you this morning? Absurd, perhaps, but this could soon become reality, thanks to the work of Arne Stoschek and A³ Airbus.

Stoschek, head of autonomous systems at the San Jose, Calif.-based Airbus unit, joined this week’s AI Podcast to talk about how he plans to make pilotless flights our new mode of transportation.

“The problem that we want to address is … congestion and commute,” said Stoschek in a conversation with AI Podcast host Michael Copeland. “Particularly in the U.S., people spend more than an hour per day commuting. And though that’s a lot of time people spend, it’s also very painful.”

His team developed an airborne, self-navigating vehicle that can reach a speed of 240 km/hr (150 mph). Roughly the size of two parking spots, it can comfortably fit two passengers plus luggage. It also has the ability to conduct vertical take-offs.

How is developing self-flying vehicles different from developing self-driving cars? Everything goes faster, for one, Stoschek said. Not only does the vehicle move faster, but obstacles appear quickly, so you have to identify “roadblocks” well in advance.

“We believe we cannot simply afford any longer to not utilize the certain amount of space that we have on top of the ground infrastructure,” he said.

AI Podcast: Deep Learning is Changing Our Hands-Free, Voice Experiences

If you’re interest in AI that is more down to earth, check out last week’s podcast. We spoke with founder Xuchen Yao about how we may one day see a smart-home device that is more conversational and natural.

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