A driverless flying taxi developed by aerospace giant Airbus has taken one step closer to reality with the awarding of a testing contract.
Airbus has previously claimed the so-called "Vahana" project will build and test an autonomous flying vehicle by the end of 2017.
Leading the effort is A3, Airbus's innovation division located in Silicon Valley. To bring testing to reality, U.S. technology and defense firms, MTSI and SOAR Oregon have been jointly awarded the Flight Test and Range contract.
In a press release Thursday, MTSI said the contract covers the prototype "Alpha phase".
"[This] seeks to identify and resolve major technical and certification risks, culminating in a flight demonstration at the end of 2017.
"A3's mission is to disrupt Airbus Group and the rest of the aerospace industry," the statement reads.