Here's What It'd Look Like If You Could Hail A Flying Taxi Which You'll Never Be Able To Do

Airbus has made it abundantly clear that it would like to build a flying car-taxi-helicopter vehicle, despite the exceedingly slim possibility of one ever being used by the masses. This week, ahead of the Paris Air Show, Airbus subsidiary A3 released a video to demonstrate how this dream could work.


Airbus has been chipping away at developing its electric autonomous VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicle for about a year, with the idea being that you could catch a ride from one part of a downtown urban core to another. The Verge says it’s going to be displaying this vision at the Paris Auto Show next week.

The video provides a scenario for how the flying taxi works, and it’s basically akin to hailing a ride via Uber or Lyft. From The Verge:

Deborah is a computer-generated human who needs to get from the Hotel de Anza in San Jose to Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, post haste. Traffic on the 101 is a nightmare, so rather than spending hours in traffic, she whips out her smartphone and hails an electric, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft through Vahana, the on-demand, aviation project. Total fare: $77. Total flight time: 18 minutes.

So, for what otherwise would be a 90-minute trip by car, Vahana says Deborah’s trip would be five times faster, but at an extra premium. Vahana would have to find a way to lower the cost, so it’s not just a service for the upper class. The Verge says the operator’s thinking is that could be accomplished by deploying the flying taxis as an Uber-like service.

Maybe that’d work—in the fantasy land where a flying car-cab could be deployed. The regulatory hurdles, however, seem insurmountable. So, for now, enjoy this far off vision of the future below.


Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk



This whole thing reminds me of the 50's when people were high on the power of the atom. suddenly EVERYTHING would be made easier through this new technology! Well yeah, we’ve figured out vertical take off and landing though high torque electric motors. Suddenly transportations will be made easier though this new technology! No, I mean technically yes. but practically no. getting caught up on the potential of a technology like this is to ignore the other complex factors of the world in which it exists.