The taxi of the future will be not only autonomous but also flying, to better unclog the streets of megacities, that’s what specialists gathered in Austin (Texas) concluded at the festival South by Southwest, who predict that the first machines will be operational around 2025.
The flying car, "people have been dreaming about it for decades, and now the technology is there, the only question is, how are we going to do it," says Michael Thacker, vice president of the car manufacturer, Bell US helicopters.
With the Uber chauffeur-driven booking platform and other aeronautics companies, including the French Safran, Bell has embarked on the design of an "air taxi", a vertical take-off and landing vehicle (VTOL) of four seats. The concept of the craft, called Nexus, halfway between the flying car and the mini-helicopter, was unveiled in January in Las Vegas.
Between twenty and thirty companies in total are working on similar concepts, start-ups or giants like Airbus, which has just presented its prototype "CityAirbus" in Germany.