Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Ehang, or even Uber, are companies that all share a common goal: the deployment of flying taxis. During CES 2020, Uber announced its desire to launch its first flying taxis in 2023, while its Chinese competitor Ehang validated a first public test more than 6 months ago. If all these companies are American or Chinese, French Tech intends to do well in this area, relying in particular on a start-up based in Annecy which bears the name of “SeaBubbles”.
As the Paris 2024 Olympic Games approach, Île-de-France is seeking by all means to offer exemplary fluidity in transport. As a result, flying taxis are becoming an increasingly serious avenue that could be considered by the organization of the event. As of today, the big names mentioned above are busy trying to offer the best solution and possibly be selected to be part of this international event.
Which companies are selected?
France is already starting to divide the roles so that this project is a success in all respects. Regarding the construction of these flying vehicles, the task was assigned to Airbus and Safran. Airbus, which for its part is developing its own flying taxi “CityAirbus” which carries a Rolls-Royce engine. According to initial reports, a Chinese manufacturer and a Singaporean hydrogen system operator are also expected to help develop these vehicles. For the moment, it is impossible to know more about the names of the selected Asian companies.
Regarding the piloting and maintenance of these aircraft, it seems that this task has been entrusted to Dassault Falcon Services and Air France. As for anti-collision systems, Thales was tasked with ensuring that everything ran smoothly. We must also consider the land infrastructure that will be used to welcome travelers and obviously to recharge these electric taxis. For this, a Swiss company would have been selected.
For a project of this scope, 2024 is tomorrow. As a result, the first tests will take place this summer at Cormeilles-en-Vexin aerodrome. Vertical take-off runways will be gradually established in Île-de-France to anticipate the post-Olympics and continue to use this technology.