Could drones be the solution to traffic gridlock?

Could passenger-carrying drones someday be the answer to traffic delays? It seems like an outlandish, space-age fantasy-but some in the burgeoning urban air mobility industry believe short-haul flights in unpiloted electric flying vehicles will be a key answer to gridlock in major metropolitan areas. A number of startups, including Uber Elevate, are working on developing such a system that could transport people and goods. Some have attracted millions of dollars in venture capital funding. Yet there are staggering hurdles, ranging from cost to safety, noise, public acceptance, regulations, space for vertiports, and questions about who would pay for and who would control the infrastructure for such transportation.
In metro Atlanta, discussion about the technology's future has already begun. Georgia Tech this year created a Center for Urban and Regional Air Mobility to explore the development of aircraft for transportation in densely populated urban areas. Professors leading the effort held an urban air mobility workshop in Atlanta in January. Three months later, national industry publication Aviation Week held an urban air mobility conference at the Georgia World Congress Center.

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