The market for flying taxis is set to change mobility as we know it. Flying cars have been around for a long time in our fantasies, thanks to sci-fi TV. The Jetsons first took to the skies in flying cars back in 1962, making many people wish they too could escape traffic congestion and defy time through air travel. Now, we’re closer than ever before to make that a reality.
All kinds of companies - from venture-backed start-ups and Uber to big-time auto and aviation companies - are now racing to enter this new and exciting marketplace. Below are a few of the key players in introducing the first commercial flying taxis to the market.
Uber first announced their ambitions to launch a flying taxi service in 2016. This business division is called “Uber Elevate”, and in 2020, they joined forces with Joby Aviation, a California-based aerospace company. This collaboration will allow Joby to use the Uber app to offer air taxi rides once the flying taxi service takes off. Uber plans to launch its aircraft in 2023, and Joby was the first company to commit to this ambitious schedule.
Ehang is a company at the forefront of the flying car's movement and strives to make safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to all. They boast the world’s first electric passenger-grade autonomous aerial vehicle. It’s in the form of a two-seater drone, which can carry two people for a maximum of 21 minutes or to any location approximately 30 miles away.
Germany-based Volocopter is a start-up that has been building and testing electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. The VoloCity is set to become the first commercially licensed Volocopter, which will eventually run without a pilot. It’s designed to be quiet, safe, and comfortable. Initially, there will only be space for one passenger, but the company plans to expand its offerings once consumers latch onto the new trend.
It might be hard to believe that flying taxis could be a reality in our lifetime. But with numerous companies currently working on building eVTOL aircraft, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all zooming around cities through the sky.