Imagine being able to catch a sky taxi to avoid traffic congestion on the ground?

That's what one U.K.-based autonomous vehicle company is aiming to do and they reached out to Triad RF to help solve their critical communication challenges. Developing a highly reliable link system is required in order to make safe air taxi service a reality. Triad delivered several dual MIMO integrated radio systems to help meet the long-distance and data throughput requirements for the prototypes.

"The challenge for our engineering team was to maintain a link budget with very good margins and to support the need for high data rates over an extended distance,” said Steve Barthelmes, co-founder of Triad. “While amplification of the transmit and receive signal of the COTS radio was achievable, the client wanted to avoid the complexity of bolting on external amplifiers, power supplies, control circuitry and cables to get the job done. The project took a big leap when with the customer decided to use our Triad high performance radios eliminating costly, time consuming integration and many days or weeks of building, troubleshooting, testing, retesting and debugging.”

Barthelmes continued, “The confluence of autonomous vehicle technologies such as drones and self-driving cars is creating a new and exciting mode of transport. We are thrilled to be able to lend our data link communications expertise and state-of-the-art radio solutions to next-generation transportation systems." He added, “Morgan Stanley analyst, Rajeev Lalwani has speculated that the market could begin as an ultra-niche add-on to the existing transportation infrastructure, similar to the way helicopters operate today.”

The future of air taxis is not that far away with the first models expected to be operational in 2023. Air taxis could cruise at 180 mph at altitudes of around 1,000 to 2,000 ft.