$70 Flying Taxis Becoming More Of a Reality
German startup Lilium says it has taken a major step toward demonstrating it can build and operate a viable flying taxi, according to Business Insider.
The race to build flying electric vehicles is in full effect and Lilium wants to be able to compete with commercial airlines by provider cheaper transportation for people traveling between different cities and regions. The process is similar to how companies such as Uber and Lyft affected the taxi industry.
The company's goal is to charge passengers $70 to fly between cities and regions up to 200 miles apart and hit speeds up to 190 mph. The startup claims that it has successfully tested its prototype jet. The prototype completed its transition from vertical takeoff into forward flight and hit speeds up to 62 mph The prototype jet can fit up to 5 passengers and gave 36 electric jet engines.
Although, Lilium has a long way to go with regulatory approval. Obtaining certifications from European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the US's Federal Aviation Administration is a multiyear process. These organizations want to ensure that the jets are safe and meet their standards.
Furthermore, the company needs funding, rumored around $500 million. "We're glad the world is getting as excited as we are about flying taxis, but we don't recognize these numbers and we don't comment on speculation regarding fundraising activities. Today our focus is squarely on putting the Lilium Jet through its paces on the airfield," the company said in a statement.
The race to build flying electric vehicles hit a milestone with Lilium's successful test, but funding and regulatory approval are still obstacles this startup has to fly over.