16/01/2017 18:19 GMT | Updated 17/01/2017 09:10 GMT

Airbus Is Set To Test Its Self-Piloted Flying Taxi This Year

It's touted as the future of urban transport.

Airbus is on track to roll out a prototype of its self-piloted, single-seat, flying taxi by the end of this year, according to the firm’s CEO.

The aerospace giant announced the futuristic transport concept last summer, saying it was a radical solution to congestion in major cities.

Now CEO Tom Enders has revealed the company is ramping-up development, with a demonstration planned for late 2017. 


“One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders told the DLD digital tech conference in Munich, Reuters reported.

The ‘CityAirbus’ will be designed to fly as part of a vast network of taxis that can be summoned using an app on your smartphone.

Enders added that urban air travel is cheap way for governments to reduce congestion, as it doesn’t require investment in bridges and roads.

Airbus isn’t the only firm investing in vertical take off and landing crafts. Uber wants to go vertical, and a Chinese firm already has permission for an all-electric personal quadcopter that could be entirely autonomous.