Hey, want an electric, flying taxi to pick you up so you don’t have to deal with traffic and those pesky roads? You may be in luck if German startup E-Volo has anything to do with it. That’s because their 18-rotor electric helicopter, the Volocopter 2X, is apparently just about ready for prime time.
The company says that the autonomous mobility vehicle should be ready for daily use by 2018.
“By 2018, the first Volocopter 2X models with special permit are set to be used as flying taxis in pilot projects,” they said.
The VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft is powered only by electricity and can carry two passengers. Its electric nature makes it quiet, which gives it an advantage over other vehicles of its type in development. That’s because one of the main complaints about VTOL vehicles is that they’re noisy.
The 2X runs on batteries that can be replaced within minutes, sports leather seats and glazed doors. If you’re looking to pilot one yourself, you’ll need a Sport Pilot License to do so, although they say that because the 2X has its own leveling systems much like the tiny drones that have grown so popular.
As for when we’ll see companies like Lyft and Uber using these stateside, you’ll have to ask the Federal Aviation Administration, as they’re already juggling airspace usage among commercial and private operators.
Not to mention, dealing with drones and the near future of autonomous delivery systems that companies like Amazon, UPS and Uber are looking into. It’ll be crowded up there.