“Flying taxis aren’t a vision any longer; they can take us off into a new dimension of mobility,” said German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer. “They’re a huge opportunity for companies and young start-ups that already develop this technology very concretely and successfully.”
Regardless of who beats who to have the first taxi rank in the sky, there are still a lot of kinks to be worked out before you will be able to click open an app and rock up at the club in even more elaborate style.
There are the issues of having to work with governments to come up with systems to manage the skies to begin with. Also, this kind of aircraft, manned or automated, needs vertical – or nearly vertical – take-off and landing to operate in cites but, at the moment, there are no systems in place for this type of aviation.
Uber has announced they have partnered with Nasa to make use of their drone traffic-control system, the uncrewed traffic management project. But managing drones is one thing, humans inside drone-like bubble cars is another.
Although having fully electrical and autonomous flying cars is where the industry wants to go, it seems it will be beyond 2020 before safety-certified, passenger-carrying versions, operated by minimally trained pilots, are flying in commercial airspace.
WATCH | UberAir concept: