The feasibility of flying taxis is being studied for Paris and could be introduced before the city hosts the 2024 Olympics Games.
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus is working alongside French transport operator RATP Group to explore the feasibility of “vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles” for Paris. News about this study comes just a couple of weeks after ride-hailing giant Uber announced its plans to introduce a flying taxi service to select cities in the United States and Australia.
The French feasibility study will research traffic management, urban integration, maintenance, and design and production. Airbus could initially introduce VTOL vehicles for paying customers at Charles de Gaulle International Airport on the outskirts of the French capital. Currently, those arriving at the airport need to either take a taxi, train, or bus into the city.
According to Groupe ADP which operates 26 international airports, it has plans to establish a “vertiport” in the region around Paris which will be ready for VTOL vehicles within 18 months. Doing so will require an infrastructure investment of around $11.4 million.
Airbus has previewed the flying taxi future with a handful of prototypes in recent years, including the Pop.Up Concept created with Audi and Italdesign. In addition, Airbus is in the midst of testing its Alpha Two prototype, a fully-autonomous VTOL vehicle which is powered solely be electricity. A number of other companies are racing to building flying taxis including Boeing and Rolls-Royce. Aston Martin even released renderings of a flying taxi prototype a little while back.