Beyond the cool factor of personal flight, electric flying taxis would have a profound impact when it comes to society, the economy and the environment. By reshaping how people move around cities they have the potential to disrupt conventional transport systems like highways, trains and buses, put a dent in pollution around urban centers and make for much faster commutes, therefore making society more efficient and productive as a whole.
The examples we look at here all have their own unique designs, and are at different points in their development, but they all promise to essentially do the same thing, which is move passengers through the air from point A to point B at a push of the button. Thanks to electric propulsion and autonomous navigation systems, they would have no operating emissions and no pilot and would generate minimal noise.
If these kinds of aircraft were to become commonplace, it would be a fundamental shift in how cities function. Although plenty of skepticism still abounds, somebody who needs no convincing of either their potential or impending arrival is Vikas Prakash, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Case Western Reserve University.