While seemingly right out of The Jetsons, flying taxis are coming closer to our timeline, and United Airlines just made a $10 million bet on them.
The company has partnered with Archer Aviation, with United plunking down the “pre-delivery payment” for 100 of the Santa Clara-based company’s vehicles.
Technically called eVTOLs — because the battery-powered, automated vehicles take off and land vertically like a helicopter, but fly like a plane — Archer’s designs just passed a rigorous exam known as Preliminary Design Review, a necessary step in having them take to the air on a commercial scale.
ABC News has learned that eVTOLs have yet to be approved to fly passengers, though Archer has test-flown their Maker aircraft and are hoping for an FAA sign off as early as the end of 2024.
In a statement, Archer called United’s move “a watershed moment for the eVTOL industry, validating confidence in the commercialization of eVTOL aircraft and Archer’s leadership.”
It’s thought the airline is envisioning ferrying passengers to its major airports in the “flying taxis.”
Sure beats taking the bus.