Watch Boeing's prototype air taxi fly for the first time
What the Future
Welcome to What the Future, your destination for all those tech stories that make you say WTF.
Now today, we are a step closer to flying around in air taxis.
[SOUND] Boeing tweeted out this video of what it says is its first test flight of its autonomous vertical takeoff and landing vehicle.
Now, during the flight, the vehicle only demonstrates a few abilities, namely, takeoff, hovering and landing as well as some autonomous abilities.
Boeing says Because it will expand testing to include traditional wing-based flight and transitioning between those two states.
The company says that's the trickiest part.
Boeing hasn't named the aircraft, though we do know it's designed to be completely autonomous and that its electric motors and battery are designed to give it a range of up to 50 miles.
Miles, and this comes just weeks after helicopter manufacturer Bell unveiled a non-working prototype of its Nexus flying air taxi at CES.
Both Bell and Boeing have partnered with Uber on its plan for a network of flying air taxis.
Uber has said it hopes to launch Uber Air by 2023.
Start, two, one.
Blue Origin returned to space this morning after a six month hiatus.
This marked the tenth successful launch of the new Shepherd rocket.
Now on board were eight research projects sponsored by NASA The Shepard is like a smaller version that's SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.
Now last week, Blue Origin which is owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, showed us its vision of its own future with this animation.
This is the plan New Glenn rocket, named for NASA astronaut John Glenn.
It's designed for launching heavier payloads like satellites and even people into orbit.
Blue Origin says the rocket's first stage will be usable for 25 missions.
They're hoping to launch the new Glenn sometime next year.
What you're seeing here is thousands of micro Microbots behaving like human cells.
Now that means they can communicate with each other and determine where they're needed on their own.
They don't need to be told what to do.
Now if this looks familiar, it may be reminding you of the microbots from Big Hero Six.
I can do what I want them to do.
[SOUND] They do it.
In this instance, scientists programmed each bot with various levels of a simulated substance they called morphogen.
Now, the green bots have the highest morphogen levels.
Researchers told all the bots to seek out others with those high levels of morphogen.
Now, you end up with these concentrations of greens bots that scientists say resemble what's known as a turing spot.
Those are patterns that occur naturally in nature.
Now in the future, researchers imagine thousands of these bots creating dynamic shapes.
Like a temporary bridge that adapts to shape and fits the terrain.
All right, time for a question.
Kevin wants to know if the Bell Nexus flying air taxi would be really loud.
Bell is touting this as the future of urban ride shares.
Now, even though it's powered by those six massive fans, Bell says it will be quiet enough for city travel.
Of course, we haven't seen a working model yet, and Bell says testing won't begin until 2023.
That's gonna do it for this week.
I'm Andy Altman, thanks for watching What the Future.
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