Skyryse is an autonomous helicopter startup company based in California and is one of the many companies dreaming of air taxis whizzing above the cities in the near future. They unveiled a technology that according to them, can power the air taxis in future to fly themselves above the cities. Footage from one of the demonstration flight was also released earlier this year.
Skyryse demonstrated their autonomous technology using their regular helicopters as a platform rather than spend a lot of energy by trying to build electric-powered vehicles. They had released a video showing their modified Robinson R-44 which is a Federal Aviation administration approved helicopter. The helicopter was flying itself with 2 pilots inside kept as a backup.
Skyryse is taking a practical approach by demonstrating their technology using helicopters which are widely used today. In their words” each component of the system, works in triplicate with the airline grade, fail-operational technology to ensure that automational functions remain operational at all times even in presence of equipment failures”. The company is using its software and technology in the existing consumer-grade aircraft.
Skyryse also focuses on the automation of other aspects of the flights. This is similar to cruise control for cars, under high- level guidance from the pilot. They have designed a suite of sensors which helps stabilize, steer and direct the helicopter while monitoring other flight data. Constant monitoring is done to ensure that the aircraft does not exceed any of the safety limits.
The helipad is embedded with ground-based sensors to allow autonomous take-off and landing. These sensors can detect low flying objects such as drones and birds. They also detect weather changes to ensure a safe flight.
Other than Skyryse, other companies like Ehang and Volocopter have also demonstrated their aircraft over the years. Companies like Airbus and Boeing are also working on their autonomous taxi projects.
Skyryse has been working towards making air transportation accessible and safe for everyone as a new mode of transportation.