Lo and behold, flying machines straight out of a Jetsons cartoon are set to become a reality. Think Uber but as a boat which hovers above the water– so basically, a flying boat taxi, right here along the Paris Seine River..
Alain Thébault and Anders Bringdal, who together broke the record for speed on a flying sailboat that they designed back in 2009, created these futuristic electric-powered water taxis which go by the name of “Sea Bubbles”. Although, to us they kind of look like weird little bug robots…
So here is what we know:
- Each shuttle will carry 5 people, including a pilot (until regulations change to allow self-driving models)
- They will be used with an application similar to Uber and cost no more than €10 a ride
- You’ll able to summon them to specially-designed docks which will also serve as charging stations
- They will be zero emission and eco-friendly, built with biodegradable material
- They’ll be silent and generate no waves
- They will hover a few inches above water, travelling at a maximum speed of 30km imposed by the city (about the speed of going downhill on a bicycle).
The bubbles have gained support from the controversial Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, who is passionate to ensure that the city cuts down on pollution and sets eco-efficient standards for the rest of the world.
The first tests for the Sea Bubbles are planned to commence June 14th on the Seine and rumour has it that if all goes well, they will be launched as a permanent form of transport next Spring.
So if you happen to be in Paris this time next year and notice one of these strange flying bugs whizzing past you on the river, do not be alarmed. The future is here.
Sources: Seabubble on Facebook, 20 Minutes, Bloomberg, Anne Hidalgo Facebook