Has the age of flying cars arrived?



A model of EHang 184 and the next generation of Dubai Drone Taxi is seen during the second day of the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. Dubai hopes to have a passenger-carrying drone buzzing through the skyline of this futuristic city-state in July. Mattar al-Tayer, the head of Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency, made the surprise announcement Monday at the World Government Summit. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

German company Volocopter CEO Dirk Hoke is putting a new meaning to getting a “Lyft”. To all the flying car skeptics out there, drone taxis are in the works and now being tested in hopes of being produced on a mass scale as soon as 2 years. 

In Germany,”‘volocopters”’ resemble a mini-drone you would see quite often with 8 rotors.  Earlier this month on November 10, a test drone flew around the Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield outside Paris, circling around with a passenger on board briefly. 

How they work

The plan is to have the vehicle eventually fully automated and with only passengers on board. The vehicle is designed to be significantly easier to fly than the typical helicopter. Hoke aims to make the controls very simple for passengers relating the practice to “patting your head and rubbing your tummy” as sort of a coordination exercise. 


The unanimous hope is to make the commercial cost of these drone trips somewhat close to the price of your average taxi. Swedish fighter pilot and aeronautical engineer Bjorn Fehrm studied the various factors involved and concluded that the cost for a thirty minute flight would come out to around $200. This would average out to $6.67 per minute of flight time. 

When they will be ready and the competition involved

CEO Dirk Hoke says that he hopes to have them ready for commercial flight by the year 2024 when the Summer Olympics are in session. However, he says significant improvement is still vital in terms of infrastructure, airspace integration and public acceptance. 

The world’s first airport-to-city-center air taxi route has already been announced by Archer Aviation, as they are aiming to operate beginning in 2025. The route will link Manhattan to Newark Liberty International Airport, the main hub of their partner, United Airlines.

Companies like Archer Aviation(CA, USA) Lilyum (Germany), Airbus (Netherlands), and Joby Aviation (CA,USA) are just some major companies in the mix to be the first officially approved flying taxi. The future of transportation could be just around the corner, with it just being a matter of time of which country will take the first steps into a revitalization of the airways.