The technology is known as electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) and the vehicle is known as the cargo air vehicle.
Boeing said the prototype is destined to serve as a testbed for future cargo drones, alongside efforts to figure out just how to get fleets of autonomous aircraft integrated with other commercial flights.
The CAV prototype achieves vertical flight with eight counter rotating blades.
Specifics related to the drone's top speed and range were not shared. "We have an opportunity to really change air travel and transport, and we'll look back on this day as a major step in that journey".More news: Central Valley Man Held for Shooting Mother After Video Game Argument
Boeing has a design for a cargo drone.
The cargo air vehicle (CAV) is created to transport a payload up to 500 pounds for possible future cargo and logistics applications, Boeing said.
The unmanned cargo aerial vehicle (CAV) prototype is much larger than anything you can find in a store.
"This flying cargo air vehicle represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL strategy", says Boeing CTO Greg Hyslop, regarding the CAV.More news: Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) Stock Price While Sentiment Dive
While we aren't likely to see Boeing's drones delivering couches and groceries any time soon, there are a number of important takeaways worth considering.
Cargo is not the only one Boeing is interested in transporting using VTOL technology.
The 4.57-meter long, 5.49-meter wide, and 1.22-meter tall prototype was hastily made in less than three months by a group of Boeing engineers and technicians. "Boeing has an unmatched track record, regulatory know-how and systematic approach to deliver solutions that will shape the future of autonomous flight".
Boeing's HorizonX business collaborated with partners from the company's research and technology division to develop the prototype.More news: Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) Raised to "Buy" at Bank of America
That's also a market in which Amazon.com and Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com are very active, adding an element of competition, as retailers and logistics companies rush to cut costs against a backdrop of growing demand for e-commerce deliveries.