Joby Aviation is developing flying taxis with Uber and Boeing and wants to open its first “skyports” within three years. The “airports” will be places that act as a bus stop, but instead of taking a bus, a flying taxi will take you to your destination. “We want to install at least 200 operating ‘mini airports’ for these types of taxis within a few years, but in reality there should be more.”
EVTOL, that’s the name of the taxis that Uber and Boeing want to see in the sky within three years. The latest Urban Flying Transportation report predicts that at least 430,000 of these taxis will be in use by 2040. This also requires small airports, called “skyports.” These “airports” are places where taxis can take off and land and therefore have to be installed at various places in the cities.
“Our services also need to be connected to other modes of transportation, so there should also be air ports at train stations, airports and other intersections,” said spokesman Oliver Walker-Jones. In addition, Joby Aviation has struck deals with large US parking and real estate companies so that small airports can be installed on the roofs of parking lots and shopping malls.
US company Joby Aviation, which is developing flying taxis, has already conducted more than 1,000 test flights with its eVTOL vehicle. The car can accommodate 4 passengers and can reach a speed of 322 kilometers per hour. After taking off vertically, the taxis can fly 150 miles.
While flying taxis may seem far-fetched to many, many cities are already interested in partnering with the company. Houston, Los Angeles and Orlando have already announced plans to provide infrastructure for flying taxis. Interest has already been shown in England and there are reportedly concrete plans to install the first ‘Skyport’ at the rugby and football stadium in Coventry.
“Flying taxis can not only solve the problem of congestion, but also reduce air pollution in the city,” said one of the initiators, Ricky Sandow. Existing airports are a source of pollution, but smaller ones will be different. We want to be completely CO2 neutral.”
According to experts, the company still faces some major challenges. For example, a robust air traffic control system must be developed. “Imagine the current regulation of air traffic routes and multiply that by a million,” says technologist Michael Taylor. In addition, the company is currently awaiting approval from the US and UK governments to start its commercial activities. So you won’t be able to take a plane taxi from Antwerp to Mechelen at the moment, but Joby Aviation sees a bright future.
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