The Prospect of Flying Taxis and the Allure of African Organised Driver Communities
For a long time, flying cars have been a highly speculative mode of transportation. In past years, there were simply stories rather than facts and research circulation, with many people dismissing this technology as something that belonged only in science fiction.
The much talked about future is almost here and reports say that we could have flying taxis operational as soon as 2030. The most popular vehicle variant to be used as flying taxis is the eVTOL. An eVTOL is an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
It is no wonder that the aircraft taxi space is already experiencing a bit of buzz. Being able to simply pick up and avoid traffic jams is an increasingly attractive offer. One has to believe that commuters, especially those living in major cities, would be appreciative of such solutions.
In New York, Uber Copter has already begun its initiative, offering helicopter trips from lower Manhattan to JFK International Airport for roughly $225 per passenger. Simultaneously, other players within the space, such as Blade and the Airbus-owned Voom are preparing to expand commuter options with offerings of their own.
The technology for widespread usage of Urban Air Mobility vehicles is nearly complete. It has been supported by advancements such as increases in battery life and computational power, sensors, and distributed propulsion, which is the utilization of numerous rotors.
Chatter surrounding flying cars has always been able to pique the interest of transport enthusiasts as well as the average commuter. The utopian society where these aircraft carry passengers across various locations within less than half the time it takes other modes of transportation is one many people want to live in.
Boeing, Airbus, and Hyundai are just a few of the well-known companies that are developing air taxis. Meanwhile, Vertical, a British company, claims to have the most conditional pre-orders, with companies like Virgin Atlantic interested in the VA-X4 vehicle.
Most established commercial aircraft manufacturers now have these types of aircraft under some form of testing. However, some of the most intriguing concepts are coming from startups or personal aircraft manufacturers from around the globe.
Will they get to Africa?
Transport technologies, in general, have always found their way to Africa’s shores. As technology and innovation have spread across the continent, futuristic mobility solutions have continued to spring up, offering Africans a myriad of safe user-driven and eco-friendly travel options.
Africa’s entrepreneurs are turning to technology to help people move about securely and economically, from data-driven firms that help vulnerable Africans move their products across markets, to app-based electric vehicle services available for commuters to use.
The use of mobile devices, as well as the internet in Africa, is increasing, as it is in the rest of the globe. This in effect is fueling a boom of applications aimed to help people move around their cities securely and affordably, decongesting major roads in the process.
Who will fly these taxis?
MAX has dedicated its existence to making mobility accessible, safe, reliable, and sustainable for 1 billion Africans. And in doing this, it is building Africa’s largest vehicle subscription and financial services platform for transport operators and drivers.
This framework of organising players in the mobility sector is largely pioneering in its nature and has become increasingly important.
When flying taxis become a huge commercial phenomenon, with a healthy number of them moving around, it will set off a ripple effect of players looking to get into the industry. At this point, the financial and structural design used to give amateurs access to a career in mobility will no doubt be vital. The best model/example for this design, right now in Africa is MAX’s driver community.
The visionary world where congested African cities like Lagos, Cairo, Johannesburg and, Capetown, offer everyday commuters mobility options that are tailored to their particular needs at every given time, can be achieved by expanding on the structures that exist now.
Commuters will be able to switch from motorcycle taxis to car taxis and to flying taxis depending on their current need. Housing these infrastructures, vehicle assets, and drivers/pilots under one umbrella may present the best chance for seamless travel experiences.
With the right safety policies and schemes in place for new modes of transportation and support for innovation, we may soon be living in the world we have only dreamed of.