Will we be hailing taxis from the sky by 2025?
There are few things more frustrating than being stuck in a traffic jam. Just five minutes of standstill during rush hour can get you dreaming of flying cars like the ones from the 1960s cartoon 'The Jetsons'. But could these cars soon be a reality?
Flying car technology
Electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft or eV-TOL, as their name suggests, lift off the ground, hover and land vertically. They are ecologically friendly as they are all-electric and built to produce no direct carbon dioxide emissions.
According to IBA, a company that provides aviation data and analytics for aviation finance and airlines, the market for these aircraft is expected to rise to over 21 billion euros by 2035. It's a figure keeping investors with their eyes in the sky.
More than 50 firms are currently developing several prototype aircraft with the capacity to transport up to 20 passengers. One such company is the Turkish start-up AirCar.
Since it was founded in 2017, AirCar has been looking for ways out of the traffic gridlock. Based in Turkey’s version of Silicon Valley, AirCar is partnered with the country’s largest software maker. Instead of waiting for governments to slowly build bigger roads and better public transportation, the company has set its sights higher. Its ultimate goal is to have a network of flying taxis that are entirely electric-powered and self-driving.
After conducting more than a thousand small-scale trials, testing on a full-sized prototype began this year. AirCar’s CEO, Eray Altunbozar, says the company expects to start carrying passengers by early 2025. But there are still barriers to overcome. One of these is the size of today's public transport.