The flying car narrative continues here, electric now and more exciting than ever.
As is reported in Automotive News Europe and elsewhere, Lilium, a German flying car startup, has raised over a Billion Rand to develop a new prototype for a five-seater, intra-city electric flying taxi, that can fly 300km/h. This is not a pipe dream for fantasy lovers either; investment at this scale means that China's Tencent Holdings, the key investor, genuinely believes in the technology as an alternative to developing expensive ground-based public transport infrastructure in major cities.
Lilium have already conducted a successful test of a two-seater taxi jet last April. So, perhaps an outrageous investment like this makes sense: Flying, after all, is now over 100 years old and why are we not using it more for inner city transport? City travel in major cities is a huge problem, one that Tencent and other investors believe can be overcome by flight.
Chief Commercial Officer of Lilium, Remo Gerber said "We think our technology could be rapidly adopted in urban areas or between cities - all you need is a landing pad. We're looking for partners who can operate it, at a cost similar to train transport or taxi for passengers."
This is another significant step forward for flying cars (and the city transport industry in general) and Gusheshe feels an awesome amount of excitement about it; similar to journalists of yesteryear who anticipated the "flying machine", Gusheshe is anticipating a breakthrough of affordable flying taxi technology well before 2050.
What a time to be alive! You can watch the official launch of the two-seater prototype here. It's amazing.