SkyRyse Launches Semi-Autonomous Transportation Service


Image: SkyRyse

California-based SkyRyse announced the launch of a new emergency response service using semi-autonomous aircraft and introduced its advanced pilot assistance system (APAS) on Tuesday. According to the company, APAS automates, adapts and enhances control systems on compatible aircraft by using artificial intelligence, a camera and sensor suite, and decision-making algorithms. For the immediate future, a pilot is still needed onboard the aircraft.

“We are building an air transportation service that is not limited by today’s infrastructure,” said SkyRyse CEO and co-founder Mark Groden. “Because the stakes are highest in emergency response situations when minutes can mean the difference between life and death, we’re launching SkyRyse Emergency Response to support governments and municipalities first, with plans to change how we get around our cities in the future.”

The company is scheduled to begin operation of its Air Emergency Response service in Tracy, California, in January 2019. The service includes APAS-equipped vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, pilots and a mobile app to “provide support to the city’s emergency response units, including law enforcement, search and rescue missions, and firefighters.” According to SkyRyse, their service will reduce both emergency response times and cost for the city. The company says APAS will work with any FAA-approved VTOL aircraft.

Similar technologies designed to adapt current aircraft models for semi- and fully-autonomous flight are being developed by other companies including Boeing’s Aurora Flight Sciences and Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky.