One major challenge faced in big cities is traffic congestion. Several ways have been recommended to tackle this challenge such as the use of bikes. Air transportation is also being looked at and in this regard, ride-hailing firm Uber’s flying taxi partner Bells has taken to CES 2019 to showcase the design of its air taxi. The taxi is dubbed Bell Nexus and is a five-person hybrid-electric powered vehicle with six tilting ducted fans capable of vertical takeoff and landing.
The Bell Nexus was first revealed at CES last year but the only the cabin but this time around a complete prototype is being shown off. The company plans to have the Nexus operational by the “mid-2020s” but no definite date has been fixed, according to Bell’s director of innovation, Scott Drennan. “This is not a toy. This is an aircraft you would feel safe and comfortable bringing your family into,” the director said. We won’t be seeing a working prototype anytime soon as that will be done closer to its official launch.
Bell CEO Mitch Snyder recognise the need to solve transportation challenges in the vertical dimension as space at the ground level becomes limited. “The industry has anticipated the reveal of our air taxi for some time, so Bell is very proud of this moment. We believe the design, taken with our strategic approach to build this infrastructure, will lead to the successful deployment of the Bell Nexus to the world.” he added.
Apart from Bell, Uber is also working with a number of companies on its future air taxi service. Uber showcased one of its air taxi prototypes at its Uber Elevate Summit, and it has said it aims to have aircrafts available for commercial operations by 2023. Uber views the revealing of Bell’s design a “major step” in its effort to develop “an on-demand Uber Air network.”
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