On Wednesday, Airbus and Paris underground operator RATP announced that they will carry out a study to determine the feasibility of adding flying vehicles to Paris’ transport network.
I a statement issued by the two companies, they outlined that they plan to explore just how viable urban air mobility services will be in the French capital and the Ile de France region.
Airbus CEO, Guillaume Faury said, “Airbus is developing demonstrators of autonomous unmanned technologies. This is not science-fiction anymore. It is fact. Today, we have all the technical tools. But they have to be integrated into everyday life without jeopardizing our priority, which is safety.”
“RATP is a good partner in such projects because of its knowledge of the associated needs and services,” he added.
CEO of RATP, Catherine Guillouard said that while the company deals with Paris’ train, underground and bus services, mass transport is still their core focus and that they plan to “develop new modes of transport and new services for the smart city of the future”.
Many countries have already tried to develop flying cars and bring them into the urban space. In the US for instance, Terrafugia and AeroMobil made the Transition which was produced in Slovakia.
They have taken years to complete and a great deal of investment to fund. However, they are not ready to be sold yet.
Author of the book ‘The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future’, Levi Tillemann, said that the safety of this technology would be the main challenge.“Flying cars are definitely coming within the next two to three years. The regulation is in place and authorities are actively supporting the innovation.”
He added, "The only thing that really makes the idea of a flying car even remotely viable is a new generation of autonomous driving technologies that will reduce the likelihood of catastrophic failure." However, "from both a cost and energy consumption standpoint, ground-based transit generally makes more sense".
Currently, there are around 20 ongoing flying car projects.
Flying care prototypes are expected to be showcased quite often from now on at the annual VivaTech exhibition which will soon be held in Paris.