Key points about this news item Malta to Gozo passenger dronesMalta to Gozo drone flights in the near future Description:
Drone plan for Malta – Gozo crossing
An ambitious plan to use drones in place of the Malta – Gozo ferry has been unveiled.
Although very much still in the planning stage, the idea is to operate various sizes of drone between the two islands, speeding up the crossing time and reducing queueing at the port. Two seat drones have already been trialled and can complete the crossing in just a few minutes, compared to over twenty minutes for the normal ferry.
Drone technology is advancing constantly and although not yet available, the plan is to introduce multi-seat drones that bus passengers can board straight from the bus as it arrives at the port. The drone is quick to load and unload, so there will be no waiting around and passengers will get to their destination much faster.
Initially, the drones will have to be piloted, but in the long term, pilotless drones will be introduced, similar to driverless trains that operate in some countries, such as the Gatwick terminal shuttle.
Safety concerns have been raised, especially regards to collisions between drones, so a two lane system will be setup with the drones being prevented from leaving their lane or travelling in the wrong direction, all computer controlled. Of course, when the pilotless drones come into service this will also reduce the potential for collisions by removing the need for human intervention.
The company involved is also considering drones capable of carrying vehicles, but that is much further away and the technology to do that has not been built yet.
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