What traffic? Sky may no longer be the limit for future cars
THE future is set to be frightening for those with a fear of heights.
In Aston Martin's farsighted flight plan, pilotless drones will transfer passengers around town.
The Volante Vision Concept is the precursor of an hybrid-powered autonomous aircraft that ferries commuters around urban areas and between cities.
The far-fetched idea fast-forwards to a Blade Runner reality where the sky is no longer the limit as you skim over the rooftops on your daily commute.
Powered by a combination of gas turbines and hybrid technology, the concept is intended to be capable of vertical takeoff and landing - so it can drop you (not literally) right to your doorstep.
To achieve the currently unthinkable, Aston Martin has teamed up with Rolls-Royce, Cranfield University in the UK and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions to explore the future of personal mobility.
Each organisation brings its own expertise with Aston Martin designing, Rolls-Royce powering, Cranfield Aerospace engineering and Cranfield University researching the future technology.
Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer views autonomous air travel as the future of transport solutions as urban areas expand and congestion increases.
"With the population in urban areas continuing to grow, congestion in towns and cities will become increasingly demanding," says Palmer.
"We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility.
"With Aston Martin and our 'dream team' of British innovation across industry and academia, we are positioned to change the future of transportation, giving our customers a new dimension of freedom."
Cranfield Aerospace boss Paul Hutton is keen to explore ideas as the first step to an aerospace revolution.
"The introduction of autonomous and electric propulsion technologies into new aircraft designs is both inevitable and challenging," says Hutton.
"And as the UK's leading aircraft design and production (enterprise) we are excited to be playing this key role in the Volante Vision Concept and so to be at the vanguard of this revolution in aerospace."
Rolls-Royce is already a leading supplier of aircraft engines and is keen to expand its hybrid propulsion technology, which is already used on ships and trains.