Self-driving air taxis inspired by a private jet would shuttle commuters in a post-pandemic world 


Although the world is still battling the coronavirus, one Italian designer is looking toward a post-pandemic world to help commuters travel safely and securely to their destination.

Andrea Ponti released a gallery of concept designs for a private jet-like drone that carries up to four passengers while they sit in single seats with soft fabric and leather cushions.

Called ‘Kite,’ the craft would use a propulsion system of four double-helix rotors and features a pair of LED headlights to help with landing and low-altitude flying.

Ponti chose the name as a reference to the black kite, a well-known bird in Hong Kong, as she aims to use the air taxis in China’s Greater Bay Area.

This area consists of nine cities and two special administrative regions – locations that are suffering economically due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus.

Although the world is still battling the coronavirus, one Italian designer is looking towards a post-pandemic world to help commuters travel safely and securely to their destination. Andrea Ponti released a gallery of concept designs for a private jet-like drone that carries up to four passengers while they sit in single seats with soft fabric and leather cushions

The black kite is a bird of prey that is fast, agile and intelligent – all things the Kite vehicle has set out to be.

However, unlike the feathered creature, the autonomous drone is fully electric, zero-emissions and sports a number of cutting-edge features.

Passengers access the cabin through a single rear door and walk down the short aisle to one of the four seats inside, which recline and feature a polycarbonate shell.

Each seat also has its own four-point quick-release safety harness and retractable trays that allow commuters to do work or enjoy a snack before arriving at the office.

Each seat also has its own four-point quick-release safety harness and retractable trays that allow commuters to work or enjoy a snack before arriving at the office

Each seat also has its own four-point quick-release safety harness and retractable trays that allow commuters to work or enjoy a snack before arriving at the office

The cabin is equipped with two large screens at the front and two smaller ones on the back of the front-row seats that display flight information, such as duration and takeoff and landing data

The cabin is equipped with two large screens at the front and two smaller ones on the back of the front-row seats that display flight information, such as duration and takeoff and landing data

There is also under-seat storage space for riders to stow away items such as briefcases and back of the seat storage provides space for larger luggage.

The cabin is equipped with two large screens at the front and two smaller ones on the back of the front-row seats that display flight information, such as duration and takeoff and landing data.

The fuselage has a rounded and compact design that Ponti says minimizes drag and optimizes maneuverability during flight.

‘Its interior layout recalls a private jet, with a central aisle and one line of seats on either side,’ Ponti shared in a press release.

‘In this transition phase when air travel has decreased significantly, KITE offers a new option for inter-city transit within the Greater Bay Area.’

‘KITE also embodies the innovative drive of this up-and-coming region and it promotes the advancement of scientific and technological research, not only in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, but in all of Asia.’

‘Its interior layout recalls a private jet, with a central aisle and one line of seats on either side,’ Ponti shared in a press release

KITE would land on docks around the area and wait to recharge before taking off for the next flight. Cost for the trips has not yet been revealed

‘Its interior layout recalls a private jet, with a central aisle and one line of seats on either side,’ Ponti shared in a press release. KITE would land on docks around the area and wait to recharge before taking off for the next flight. Cost for the trips has not yet been revealed

Ponti chose the name as a reference to the black kite, a well-known bird in Hong Kong, as she aims to use the air taxis in China’s Greater Bay Area. This area consists of nine cities and two special administrative regions – locations that are suffering economically due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus

Ponti chose the name as a reference to the black kite, a well-known bird in Hong Kong, as she aims to use the air taxis in China’s Greater Bay Area. This area consists of nine cities and two special administrative regions – locations that are suffering economically due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus

The coronavirus has forced Chinese officials to limit travel on public transportation between the mainland and the Greater Bay Area, which has brought uncertainty to the region’s economy. Ponti hopes her design could help bring people back to the area post-pandemic

The coronavirus has forced Chinese officials to limit travel on public transportation between the mainland and the Greater Bay Area, which has brought uncertainty to the region’s economy. Ponti hopes her design could help bring people back to the area post-pandemic

KITE would land on docks around the area and wait to recharge before taking off for the next flight.

Cost for the trips has not yet been revealed.  

The coronavirus has forced Chinese officials to limit travel on public transportation between the mainland and the Greater Bay Area, which has brought uncertainty to the region’s economy.

A report detailing Hong Kong restrictions notes that Hong Kong International Airport Skypier Sea-to-Air ferry service (Greater Bay Area to Hong Kong) was scheduled to gradually resume on Oct. 28, but Air-to-Sea ferry service will remain suspended.

Haywood Cheung, president of the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society, told the South China Morning Post that without such transportation ‘the Greater Bay Area still remains largely off limits to Hong Kong’s professional graduates such as doctors, lawyers, architects, insurance brokers and accountants.’

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