While Las Vegas is currently one of two cities in the U.S. allowing for consumer testing of driverless cars, the city got another driverless boost last week from CES2019: the driverless heli-taxi.
While the annual Consumer Electronics Show brought a life-size prototype of the new aerial hybrid vehicle currently in development, it also brought a lot of debate about the future of urban transportation—the good, the bad and the seemingly impossible.
The vision is this: sometime in the not too distant future, a traveler, a commuter or even a person in a hurry, may be able to choose on a whim to hail an air taxi from a nearby rooftop. From there, they’ll take that taxi to another rooftop stop, or the airport, or even some port on a highrise rooftop of another nearby city.
Trips that could take 45 minutes to hours, depending on traffic, would be on-demand and relegated to minutes and arranged in a snap through an app supplied by, yes, Uber. The concept of Uber Air is a very real one, according to company brass attending this year’s CES, and it is spearheading a debate that brings up all sorts of questions, concerns and awe.