British sports car maker Aston Martin unveils the Volante Vision Concept at the Farnborough Airshow, joining the likes of Airbus and Uber in a bid to revolutionise the way people travel. Matthew Stock reports.
FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND, UK (REUTERS) – James Bond would certainly approve.
“The same way that you have Uber and you have an Aston Martin, you’ll have ‘Uber in the skies’ and you’ll have ‘Aston Martin in the skies’. So there’ll be a luxury element to the low-altitude aerospace market and we see that as very organic for Aston Martin to look into entering that.”
They’ve now partnered with Rolls-Royce to develop the propulsion system for the three-seater craft.
DAVID DEBNEY, CHIEF OF FUTURE AIRCRAFT CONCEPTS, ROLLS-ROYCE,
“It feels like a fighter jet but at the same time it has the Aston Martin luxury. In terms of the technology, we are using a combination of advanced motors, generators, power electronics and batteries all coupled together to make that Rolls-Royce propulsion system.”
Cranfield University scientists are on board to integrate AI-powered autonomous capabilities.
HELEN ATKINSON, CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY,
“The concept is to take it through being semi-autonomous and then to be fully autonomous in due course…. Obviously you’ve got to detect what’s going on in that external environment and then turn that around incredibly quickly in the computer system with the artificial intelligence built in to actually achieve the necessary level of autonomy.”
“Look, this is clearly a luxury object – it’s a sports car for the skies – so pricing is going to be commensurate with that, so certainly into the seven figures.”