What do you think about taking a taxi to work? How about a flying taxi? According to Boeing CEO, the age of flying taxi’s is approaching rapidly. And he believes that his company will have an air-worthy prototype ready by next year. He also said that he was in talks with regulators, and that discussions regarding the development of a traffic management system were already underway.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said:
Think about a future in which you will have three-dimensional highways to relieve traffic congestion. So we’re working on both the ecosystem — the regulatory framework — and the new vehicles. All of that is happening now.
Boeing has invested heavily into the flying taxi domain. The company acquired Aurora Flight Sciences only last year, and is also working with SparkCognition to create a well-defined regulatory framework for flying cars. What we don’t know however, is whether the company will start off with pilot-less cars at the outset, or if it will that is something which will come later.
I would expect that within five years we’ll see initial operational capability being fielded. You’re going to see rapid progress here over the next several years and you’re going to see Boeing with our partners right at the forefront.
The company is also working on a Hypersonic jet, that should allow folks to travel anywhere in the world within a couple of hours.
A prototype of course doesn’t translate into a taxi system. While Boeing hopes to have a ready-to-fly prototype by 2019, creating a fleet of taxis, setting up a regulatory framework, all this will require time. With that said, Muilenburg believes that flying taxis could start becoming a common sight somewhere within the next decade.
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