Several firms have recently expressed an interest in creating flying taxis, including the likes of Uber, NASA, Rolls Royce and Airbus. A race is now on for companies to get their taxis into the skies, and a recent study has found that city skylines could be plagued by them. Research from management consultancy Horváth & Partners found that by 2035, there will be 23,000 airline taxis around the world, totalling 15 million flight hours.
By 2050, this number will rise to a staggering three million flying taxis and then seven million of the aircrafts by 2070.
For perspective, Uber currently has around two million drivers worldwide, com.
The report, which was obtained by German media outlet WELT, states that the taxis will first pop up in the world’s megacities – which have a population of more than 10 million – including the likes of London and New York.
WELT points out: “The authors point out that there are still outstanding questions to be resolved in the legal framework for airspace, but also in technology.
“So there are completely different design solutions for the air taxis, with and without wings, with little or many rotors.”
A host of companies are working on flying cars – most notably flying taxis.
British firm Rolls-Royce has unveiled plans to develop a super speed electric flying taxi which can carry up to five people and land vertically.
The engine maker’s futuristic design will also be able to fly at an astonishing 250mph for up to 500 miles as it aims to make cross country travel rapid.
It is 101 miles, as the crow flies, between London and Birmingham, meaning the flying taxi would take just 20 minutes to travel between the cities.
Taxi conglomerate Uber is also in the game. In early 2018, the company revealed plans to release flying taxis in as little as two years and the firm hopes they will be driverless within 10 years.
The company previewed its Uber Air design models which are designed to taxi up to four people in the skies of major cities.
Uber unveiled the model, which is has been dubbed the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft, at the Elevate Summit in Los Angeles.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.