Seems like just yesterday Airbus' Vahana autonomous electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft was little more than a painted concept, but now it's actually flown, during a full-scale prototype test that lasted just under a minute, and during which the Vahana aircraft was fully self-piloted and fling at a height of 16 feet off the ground.
The Vahana VTOL, which resembles a complicated helicopter or an overground drone, depending on your perspective, is being developed by Airbus Silicon Valley skunkworks A³, and is aiming to eventually become something that can actually offer service to customers and transport people and goods within cities, cutting above traffic and making short-hop trips between strategically placed launch and landing pads.
This first flight is obviously a far cry from a working, commercial passenger drone service, but the successful first flight, which was followed by a second successful flight the next day, is a step in the right direction.
Next, Vahana says it'll aim to move from being able to hover the vehicle, to being able to have it fly itself directionally, which will obviously be a key ingredient in terms of getting people and stuff from point A to point B.
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.