February 11, 2019
Airbus says that people around the world are increasingly open to urban air vehicles, either to fly around in themselves or merely to whisk a hot pizza to their home. Such a service might at first require human pilots for passenger flights, but the idea is to eventually move to Jetson’s-style automated flight.
Of four places the company surveyed, Mexico City was the most amenable to the idea, with 67 percent in favor. In Los Angeles, the tally came to 46 percent; in Switzerland, to 32 percent; and in New Zealand, to 27 percent. Younger respondents were the most open to the idea, with 55 percent overall in favor.
Such market research is the sort of thing a company does when it’s preparing pilot programs, or at least preparing safety regulators to consider such programs. And indeed, Airbus plans to roll out aspects of a new air traffic control system that could support such vehicles next year.