Boeings new aircraft vehicle has the ability to carry heavy loads up to 500 pounds. This is nothing like the drone you got for Christmas (Photo from Boeing)

 

In the future, expect to see more autonomous vehicles, and we’re not just talking about self-driving cars. The cargo industry wants to get in on the trend and is already looking into delivery bots for food, delivering residential packages, and even hauling large shipments across the continents and the sea. Boeing is getting in on the action with their latest cargo air vehicle, which they recently showed off as part of their eVTOL strategy.

 

“This flying cargo air vehicle represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL strategy,” said Boeing chief technology officer Greg Hyslop in a statement. “We have an opportunity to really change air travel and transport, and we’ll look back on this day as a major step in that journey.

 

Their new aircraft is a large octocopter measuring at 15 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 4 feet tall and weighing 747 pounds. So it’s nothing like the drones Amazon is hoping to employ. This behemoth has the ability to carry heavy loads up to 500 pounds. Over the course of three months, Boeing built and carried out successful tests of the prototype, which is completely electric. The entire thing is powered by an electric propulsion system and comes equipped with eight rotors to give it vertical flight.

 

While the vehicle is still in the prototype stage, the company feels confident in the new vehicle and says it’ll be used “as a flying test bed to mature the building blocks of autonomous technology for future applications.”

 

This reveal comes four months after the company announced it acquired Aurora Flight Sciences, an aviation and aeronautics research company who recently teamed up with Uber to develop a network of flying taxis. Not too long ago, Aurora demonstrated how unmanned resupply missions could support troops on the ground by using a US Marine UG-1H helicopter equipped with autonomous systems.

 

In addition, Boeing is also the primary sponsor of a $2 million contest to build a functional jetpack. The competition is looking for those who can make a safe, quiet, ultra-compact jetpack with the ability to carry one person 20 miles or more without the need for refueling or recharging. That’s one project we’re definitely looking forward to. Though... I don't want to be anywhere under this thing's shipping route.

 

 

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