Paris to use electric flying cars to bring passengers to the Olympics


French authorities announced Thursday that Paris will begin testing electric air taxis at a new test site just outside the French capital, with the ultimate goal of creating at least two flight paths for Olympic passengers during the 2024 summer games.

French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari attended the inauguration of the new air mobility test site on Thursday at an airfield a few kilometers northwest of Paris, according to a press release.

“Everything is falling into place: partnerships, innovation, test areas, regulations, financing,” said Djebbari. “All the ingredients for success are there, we just have to get there.”

The first Olympic line would transport passengers between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget airports, and a second would connect two Parisian suburbs. About 30 manufacturers have answered the call to test various parts of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, or eVTOLs, and the infrastructure that a safe airport would need for them.

Aerospace companies such as Volocopter GmbH, Airbus SE, Vertical Aerospace Group Ltd and Lilium NV are participating in the project. The airfield near Paris has already been adapted to include a landing and take-off area, taxiways, parking lots, warehouse planning, etc.

The airport said it has already tested flights with a drone carrying medical supplies such as blood bags and health kits, as well as anti-collision and recharging systems.

In September of this year, Bloomberg reported that 65 flying taxi centers were planned for cities including London and Los Angeles. A site in England, scheduled to open in 2022, is expected to be the first.

In September, NASA officially began flight testing an eVTOL aircraft built by California-based Joby Aviation in hopes of establishing a new form of city-to-city transportation. Joby is also testing air taxis in Paris at the new Olympic test site.

Will eVTOLs carry passengers, medical supplies and cargo through airspace on a daily basis? If they’re good enough for the French government and NASA, continued testing could make air taxis an environmentally friendly mode of transportation, at least for people who can afford them.

Find out more about air transport: Here is Cadillac’s wild flying car concept

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