Self-driving cars have just started to navigate roads and innovators are already conceptualizing the next big trend in transportation—flying taxis.
According to reports, Uber intends to create a network of flying taxis in Dubai and the Dallas area two years from now. In fact, Kitty Hawk, a flying car startup that was created by Google cofounder Larry Page – is already providing test flights to potential clients.
Rolls-Royce has recently jumped on the bandwagon with its debut of a concept electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle at the Farnborough International Airshow held in Britain. According to the British automaker, the vehicle could have a seating capacity that fits up to five passengers and speed of up to 250 mph for around 500 miles.
Rolls-Royce noted that the vehicle could be airborne as soon as the early 2020s. However, the company revealed that it intends to create a vehicle prototype within the next 18 months.
In a news release, Rob Watson, who heads Rolls-Royce’s Electrical team, stated that building on their existing expertise in electric technologies and aviation, they are dynamically exploring an array of possible markets and applications for electric and hybrid electric flight. “We are well placed to play a leading role in the emerging world of personal air mobility and will also look to work in collaboration with a range of partners.”
Rolls-Royce’s concept vehicle will reportedly be powered by six electric propulsors that are designed to have a low noise profile. To take off or land vertically, the wings of the vehicle rotates 90 degrees. The moment the craft reaches its cruising height, the propellers fold away and the craft depends on a number of rear propellers for thrust.
According to Rolls-Royce, the vehicle will fill a niche created by overtaxed transportation systems in progressively crowded cities.