We’re all living in the not-too-distant future. No question. After all, we’ve got working jetpacks (well, some of us do). We’ve got AI home assistants, computer watches, and now, the pinnacle of futuristic technology, flying boat cars.
French startup Seabubbles has debuted a new prototype air taxi that literally hovers above the water in order to provide speedy journeys for passengers in what the company hopes will one day become the aquatic equivalent to Uber. This same technology was used in 2005 to break the water speed record, and now, it’s hoped that these speedy hovercars will become a common site on rivers and canals around the world.
The plan will be for these cars to be fully automated, like a self-driving car that only functions on water, as passengers are taken wherever they need to go through busy city waterways. Already in many major cities that have extensive river networks, particularly in many European cities, water taxis are the easiest way to travel between destinations quickly, and Seabubbles hopes to make this process even easier with their fleet of self-driving hoverboats.
Currently, Seabubbles plans to bring a dozen of these to the river Seine this summer, in what the company is calling a “Pop Up Tour” that will give passengers the opportunity to try out the service for the first time, and, should the service prove popular, these things will be a common sight in a dozen global cities (including several in the US) by 2018.
There might not be as much chrome as we’d hoped for in this brave new world, but flying boat cars are the next best thing.