Driverless Hover-Taxi Whizzes Over Singapore


A taxi helicopter hovered over the port of Singapore on Tuesday. The craft can somewhat compare to a giant drone, and the authors hope that the emission-free vehicle will be the means of transport of the future.

The test flight was close to being delayed by rain showers. Still, just as the appointed time approached, the sky cleared. The battery-powered, two-seater taxi could quietly take off and glide past Singapore’s skyscrapers in the iconic Marina Bay. The “hover helicopter” can fly itself, but there was a pilot on board during the trip to be on the safe side.

The craft has 18 propellers and, developed by the German company Volocopter. Tests have previously got done in Dubai, Helsinki, Germany, and Las Vegas. Still, the flight among the skyscrapers in Singapore was the first in a city center. Already in two years, the metropolis can be the first in the world with the new taxi service. The idea is that the helicopter will operate shorter routes in the city.

– We see great potential for this new technology in Asia, says the company’s CEO Florian Reuter to the news agency AFP.

The authors aim at markets in China and India and cities such as Jakarta, Manila, and Bangkok. But they have competition. Uber and Kitty Hawk are developing similar craft.

– We feel that this is just the beginning of a new means of transport that will ultimately change our view of vehicles in cities, says Florian Reuter.


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