Intel is presently in the middle of a severe battle for establishing itself as a key technology player in the automobile industry alongside Nvidia. The company acquired computer vision experts Mobileye in a bid to step up to the game, but has since played second fiddle to Nvidia's meteoric rise with its 'Drive' platform. As if to answer such doubts and show that it's pretty much still in the game, Intel took to the CES stage, and amid seemingly more important announcements, showed off a short flight demo of an 18-rotor contraption.
This 18-rotor contraption is the VC200 - an air taxi prototype by German startup Volocopter that uses Intel's technology platform for autonomous flight. Volocopter has been working on realising flying taxis for quite some time, and has even earmarked a new prototype version - the successor to the VC200, as its first production model. To lend it autonomous flying capabilities, the 50-person startup has teamed up with Intel. It also comes equipped with easily replacable battery kits that provide flying time of 30 minutes and range of 30 kilometres.
The VC200 took a short flight for the first time in USA, at Intel's CES 2018 demo stage, and even though it was nothing more than demonstration of a concept, it was still cool. The 18-rotor drone-like craft certainly does not look too inviting, and we're quite sure that flying taxis will look much more suave when they are finally produced. As of now, though, this will stand testimony to Intel's ongoing efforts against Nvidia's rising clientele.