Paris has a new plan for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympic Games, but it's not just about sporting events. The city has announced it wants to introduce electric flying taxis.
Unless aviation regulators in China beat Paris to the punch by green-lighting a pilotless taxi for two passengers under development there, the French capital's prospective operator — Volocopter of Germany — could be the first to fly taxis commercially if European regulators give their OK.
Volocopter CEO Dirk Hoke, a former top executive at aerospace giant Airbus, has a VVIP in mind as his hoped-for first Parisian passenger — none other than French President Emmanuel Macron.
The article reports that before we see flying taxis, two big issues need solving. Today's batteries can't power long trips or lots of passengers. Plus, there needs to be a system to keep flying taxis from crashing into each other in the sky.
One of the five planned Olympic routes would land in the heart of the city on a floating platform on the spruced-up River Seine. Developers point out that ride-hailing apps and E-scooters also used to strike many customers as outlandish. And as with those technologies, some are betting that early adopters of flying taxis will prompt others to try them, too.
"It will be a total new experience for the people," said Hoke, Volocopter's CEO. "But twenty years later someone looks back at what changed based on that and then they call it a revolution. And I think we are at the edge of the next revolution."