Forget self-driving cars, Boeing’s autonomous air vehicle took its first flight

In the future, travelers may have access to on-demand flying taxis to fly from point A to B during a night out on the town — all without a driver.

Boeing’s autonomous passenger air vehicle took its first test flight Tuesday in Manassas, Virginia. The vehicle completed a controlled takeoff, hover and landing. Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight and the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes, according to a company statement.

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When fully developed, the taxi will be fully autonomous and be able to travel up to 50 miles.

“In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype,” said Boeing chief technology officer Greg Hyslop. “Boeing’s expertise and innovation have been critical in developing aviation as the world’s safest and most efficient form of transportation, and we will continue to lead with a safe, innovative and responsible approach to new mobility solutions.”

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