What is the major setback in creating passenger drones?


With new battery tech being developed is it really still just completely out of the realm of possibility to create an electric passenger drone, especially when some electric vehicles have ranges of 500+ miles? I have been very intrigued by Jetson creating their single person drone, but i’m just so curious when we will see a passenger drone, and even better, one that has more than 20 minutes of flight time. Is the current battery tech just still too heavy?

Also, are there any options to make them more practical, Hydrogen fuel for example?

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Its defined and engineering challenge. However there are drones that can carry 50 kg for like 2 hours. Building an electric helicopter is within the realm of possibility.

There are issues though.

Safety and legal issues. Who can pilot it? Would you need to be a pilot? You’d probably need some kind of license to fly that thing like with regular drones. You are going to be flying about 100 kg. If you something goes wrong you can die, you can hit someone and they might die.

It is technically possible but not safe. If an airplane lose power it can glide back down to a safe landing. If a helicopter lose power it is also possible to control the helicopter down to a safe landing using autorotation. But the way modern quadcopter drones are built today if they lose power on even one of their motors they become uncontrollable and crash. There are just so many failures which can happen which would be deadly to any passengers. Until we can solve these and make sure the drone can safely land with any of its components failing you are not going to get permission to put people on these drones.

A big issue is just that there’s very little market for it at the moment. You’re not going to be able to use one in public any time soon, as it’s just crazy dangerous. Even if a rich person wanted one, they’re going to have to hire a pilot, figure out parking and charging at their destination, and they’ll need tons of insurance because it’s a flying machine being used in close proximity to strangers.

It’s also inefficient. A car can go 500+ miles because all its weight is still sitting on the ground rolling around. Anything that can fly has to expend a ton of extra energy just to keep it in the air, let alone actually flying around. All that extra energy requirements just mean less and less flight time.