A Dutch engineer moves a step closer to a Jetson's-style flying car with a manned quadcopter that flies itself. Amy Pollock reports.
Personal flight vehicles are still a long way from reality But a Dutch software engineer says he's a step closer with a quadcopter capable of carrying a passenger. Thorstin Crijn's Quadro is designed to transport passengers without manual control. A kind of flying taxi. (SOUNDBITE) (English), SOFTWARE ENGINEER, THORSTIN CRIJNS, SAYING: "What I envision is that governments could use this transportation system, and a person could use a smart phone, call the drone, get in there and go to their desired location" The quadcopter's twenty engines are powered by lithium battery and the structure made from an aluminium alloy. It's controlled by the MultiWii Autopilot system, which is able to stabilise the vehicle. So far, the Quadro has accomplished 10 seconds in the air while carrying a passenger. And Crijns is negotiating with Dutch aviation authorities for a flight permit. And he's determined to prove his vehicle's safe. (SOUNDBITE) (English), SOFTWARE ENGINEER, THORSTIN CRIJNS, SAYING "It's not only about technological challenges, but also about awareness, people should trust this device, that's also really important, and I think for all that to happen it will take 15 years or something." The Quadro joins other attempts to achieve Jetsons-style flying cars. Britain-based Malloy Aeronautics showcased a small scale "Hoverbike" quadcopter - complete with a humanoid passenger - at this year's Paris Air Show. Their full-size version is now being developed in collaboration the U.S. Defense Department.