Vanderbilt engineers among group working to develop 'air taxis'

Posted at 9:26 AM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 10:26:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Vanderbilt University is involved in a cutting-edge project that could change the way we all get around.

Engineers from the university are part of a NASA-funded, multi-institution effort to create a new form of transportation. Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircrafts (eVTOLs) commonly called "air taxis" are small, commercial, autonomous planes designed o get you from here to there.

The aircrafts are a cross between a helicopter and a small airplane and don't need long runways. They would be self-piloted.

It's a $2.5 million, three-year project to see if they are safe and practical. The idea is a quicker and more efficient way to get where you're going, using electricity which reduces reliance on gasoline.

The project is lead by George Washington University, with researchers from the University of Texas and MIT's Lincoln Lab also participating.