Air Taxis Are Here: Jetsons’ Future Is Nearing
Air Taxis are the future in transportation. Think drone technology meets yellow cab.
These drone-like vehicles are attempting to make traveling through gridlock convenient. Instead of driving through congestion on the road, a few companies are trying to take transportation to the sky and provide an alternative, albeit at first expensive, mode of transportation.
With the plan to start demonstrating its technology in 2020, uberAIR is projecting operational flying taxi service in 2023. The vehicle – there is only a prototype that is being designed – will run on electricity and several stacked propellers that allow for both a vertical lift and a forward thrust. These clean, quiet and safe vehicles are hoping to make flying through cities a commonplace and are looking for an international launch city, Los Angeles and Dallas have been previously announced, to be the first to offer uberAIR flights. Here is a first look at Uber’s flying taxi models: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XFbyWAUwp4.
Volocopter, the pioneer in urban air taxi development, announced the Volocopter 2X, the world’s first manned, fully electric and safe vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). With no combustion engine, no noise, no and no complex mechanics, the 18-rotor, two-person air taxi is currently capable of 30 minutes of flight. Using a single joystick It is the world’s first multicopter to be granted a certification for manned flights and since completed the first ever autonomous air taxi test run in the history of aviation in Dubai at the end of 2017. See the Volocopter in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgnI0RFCFxc.
Airbus presents the CityAirbus, a multi-passenger, self-piloted battery-powered vertical take-off and landing vehicle designed for urban air mobility. It is designed to carry up to four passengers over congested megacities in a fast, affordable and environmentally friendly way. Since completing the “power on” of the “iron bird” ground test facility in Taufkirchen, Germany in December 2017, only a year later they are scheduled for their first flight. See the CityAirbus in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQeqQFWu17k.
Just this past February, the Ehang 184 AAV took dignitaries and journalist on trips in southern China reaching top speeds of 80mph and lengths of up to 15km. The eco-friendly low altitude autonomous aerial vehicle is powered by electricity only and is designed with full redundancy. Aiming to provide medium to short distance communication and transportation solution, the unique application system includes a simple, one single click to take-off and land. To fly, passengers simply mark their destination on a map and the drone creates and executes a flight plan. Flight tests of the Ehang 184 AAV can be found here: http://www.ehang.com/video/show/206.html.
The Lilium Jet, an air taxi for up to five people, enables travel times five times faster than car. Like other ride share services, simply call the taxi with a push of a button and pay per ride. What began as an idea in 2013 with the mission to make air taxis available to everyone and as affordable as riding a car, Lilium’s first full-scale prototype took off in 2017. With the goal of the first fully functional manned flight in 2019 and allowing users to book the jet in 2025, Lilium will present a large network of small and inexpensive landing pads and central places in cities will allow you to quickly enter an aircraft anytime and fly anywhere you want. Watch the jet’s maiden flight here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohig71bwRUE.