Flying taxi services could begin appearing as early as 2024

Daniel Sims

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Forward-looking: Numerous companies have spent several years trying to fulfill the long-dreamed promise of flying cars. Significant challenges remain, but developments in the sector sped up significantly throughout 2023. Multiple proposals have outlined flying taxi services that could appear in major cities over the next two years.

Recent milestones could put a nascent industry on track to open flying taxi services in 2024 and 2025. Questions remain regarding cost and safety, but regulators are warming up to the technology, which could save passengers significant commute time.

Volocopter might become one of the first flying taxi companies to open a service with broad exposure if its planned Paris service is ready for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The company is designing multiple routes between Versailles and airports around Paris.

Since Volocopter gained approval for the plan, it has successfully flown electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles in Florida, New York City, and Osaka. The tests prove flying taxis can operate in major metropolitan areas and international airports. Another flying taxi company, Joby Aviation, recently completed air traffic control simulations with NASA and started plans for specialized landing pads throughout Japan.

Joby plans to start air taxi services in NYC by 2025, and Archer Aviation is working with United Airlines to provide flying taxis in Chicago around the same time. However, China may be currently in the lead regarding flying taxis. The government recently approved for EHang Holdings to offer trial tours in Xinjiang and Shenzhen. Meanwhile, in the US, the FAA has drafted proposals for short eVTOL flights by 2028.

Despite the progress, significant obstacles to broad adoption remain. The most obvious issue is likely cost. Flying over traffic with new technology is inherently expensive, but Joby and UA hope flying taxis can eventually become as cheap as an Uber ride. Another problem is safety, as the extreme weight of eVTOL batteries complicates flight.

Furthermore, the VTOL design that companies have chosen has a troubled history. Since the US military began deploying V-22 Osprey VTOL aircraft in 2007, 10 have failed, killing 24 people. The military recently grounded its $32 billion Osprey fleet after a fatal crash off the coast of Japan.

Such issues caused competitors like Kitty Hawk and Uber to back out of the market. Time will tell if Joby, EHang, Volocopter, and Archer can stay the course and eventually offer affordable air taxi rides.

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You wouldn't catch me dead in one of these things. Well... actually you might.

There is no way I would entrust my life to a giant autonomous drone. Self-driving cars are scary enough, but car accidents are mostly survivable. Crashes from the air - even at a low altitudes - have terrible track records. PASS
Maybe if there ends up being a 10+ year track record of AI powered drones/helicopters then I might trust it. I do know that I most certainly won't be a beta tester.
 
The French do certainly have a historical predisposition to jumping off great heights with homemade parachutes. Their keenness to die in gravity related incidents has seemingly not waned.

The fact this is a German company perfectly happy that their French neighbors might be the first to widely trial the tech and iron out the bugs before a German citizen uses it is..........understandable.
 
You wouldn't catch me dead in one of these things. Well... actually you might.

There is no way I would entrust my life to a giant autonomous drone. Self-driving cars are scary enough, but car accidents are mostly survivable. Crashes from the air - even at a low altitudes - have terrible track records. PASS
In my opinion, these devices have advantages over planes and disadvantages too.
For starters, a simple Contruction of a battery plus electric motor technically make the construction simpler and therefore less prone to failure.
However, plane industry has amazingly long history of improving safety (achieved with thousands of deaths unfortunately). I am afraid that dozens of things that could lead to failure are not yet discovered in these drone like flyers. That could, that will cost lives.
Planes are amazingly complex devices, but they are treat very seriously for that matter.
These flyers could become even safer than planes eventually. But I am not excited to achieve that safety with my life.
Last of all, I do not want these to fly over residential area. As I said, I trust most planes not to fall on my head. It will be a nightmare if hundreds of these fly over our heads all the time.
I voiced an idea before, these taxies should only be allowed in specific areas and have a built-in map with red zones where a pilot can't fly into if he wants. That will also help prevent thuge terror attempts like large gatherings of people and nuclear power plant.
 
Is there anything that can be considered cheap? All we see are price increases everywhere. Volocopter may become cheap in price but that won't last long.
 
Wait till the NEW design Toroidal Propeller
is used and new batteries installed that even with the propellers will increase lifting weight and distance and then Musk gets involved cause he can't make money on his cars due to Chinese makers using his tech (Duh shouldn't make your cars in a country that uses industrial espionage as primary source of getting info) and undercutting him then Air taxies is his next bet,
 
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