Transportation innovation: Delivery drones for humans

Have flying cars arrived at last? And to think, this all started with a company's electric delivery truck and package-carrying drone. Electric pickup and medium-duty van manufacturer Workhorse Group says its new SureFly 8-rotor helicopter is ready to zip two passengers into and out of cities — or just about anywhere within a 70-mi. round trip.

What's more, the company expects it'll set you back less than a Tesla. (For comparison's sake, the Tesla Commorare runs about $75,000 on the street.)

The Workhorse SureFly is scheduled to make its official debut at the Paris Air Show June 19-22. The company has put particular emphasis this year on introducing new products; the SureFly comes on the heels of Workhorse's W-15 all-electric, 430-hp pickup truck unveiled in May

The SureFly personal octocopter boasts an 8-rotor, enlarged delivery drone-type design, operates on gasoline or electric power, and has a folded-down "parked" size about as big as a Class 1-3 pickup truck. Workhorse developed its knowledge base of such flying copters by via its Horsefly package delivery drone, which was announced several years ago and successfully completed usage/ feasibility tests in early 2017.

We can't say no one saw this coming. Futurist Jim Carroll, for one, predicted that a "next step" potential game-changer for the freight-delivery and/or larger transportation industry could be human-carrying copter drones.

Plugging the SureFly, Workhorse Group has this to say:

"The time has come. After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented. SureFly is a personal helicopter/VTOL [vertical take-off and landing] aircraft designed for safe and easy flight.

"With eight independent motors each driving a single carbon fiber propeller, a backup battery power system, and a ballistic parachute to safely land in the event of emergency, the SureFly provides unparalleled safety for a personal aircraft."

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