Bell Helicopter, manufacturers of aircraft, have released the concept for the cabin of an electric, self-piloting air taxi designed for Uber.
The cabin was revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show after Uber announced a partnership with NASA. The pair intends to work together to create an aircraft taxi service in LA by 2020.
Bell Helicopter’s cabin is designed to make space for four or five riders. Like Uber cars, the vehicle will be available on demand via the brand’s app. Unlike its road-bound cousins, the electric flying vehicle, which is similar to both the helicopter and drone, is unlikely to get stuck in traffic, cutting journey times for early adopting passengers.
“This unique interaction with Bell’s future air taxi concept will demonstrate how you can stay connected to every aspect of your life – from takeoff to landing – all while saving your most precious resource: time,” the company said.
“Bell has been moving people over urban obstacles for decades with traditional rotorcraft. Now we’re expanding the scope of air travel and aviation technology to advance life’s conveniences.”
The aircraft’s propulsion system remains under wraps, but Fast Company stated that it would involve a gas turbine and would look to eventually remove fuel tanks in favour of batteries.
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Bryony joined It's Nice That as Deputy Editor in August 2016, following roles at Mother, Secret Cinema, LAW, Rollacoaster and Wonderland. She later became Acting Editor at It's Nice That, before leaving in late 2018.