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AirSpaceX's autonomous, electric air taxi lands in Detroit


Airspace Experience Technologies, LLC (AirSpaceX) has given a preview of its vision for the future of air taxi services at this year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The company unveiled a sub-scale model of its vertical take off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, Mobi-One, an autonomous, tilt-wing electric aircraft designed to carry both passengers and cargo at speeds of up to 250 mph (400 km/h).

A scale version of Mobi-One

Mobi-One with wings tilted for takeoff or landing

Mobi-One in horizontal flight mode

Mobi-One is powered by four electric motors

According to AirSpaceX, US$300 billion dollars in fuel and productivity costs a year are wasted in traffic jams and other delays in the United States alone. Additionally, urban drivers spend 42 hours stuck in traffic each year, while pumping 38 billion pounds (17 billion kg) of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Designed and built by AirSpaceX parent compant Detroit Aircraft Corporation (DAC) at Detroit City Airport, Mobi-One is targeted at the point-to-point commuter market as a clean, quiet alternative to road transport that relies on "lean automotive design and mass production techniques" to be affordable to produce.

Mobi-One uses four wing-mounted electric motors that the maker claims makes the aircraft quieter than a helicopter. It's designed to carry two to four passengers or payloads of over 200 kg (440 lb) at a cruising speed of 150 mph (241 km/h) over a range of 65 mi (104 km).

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