You will be able to hail air taxis as early as 2023.
Fellow innovators are giving Elon Musk’s company name—the Boring Company—a run for its money. Bell Aerospace, for example, has flexed so hard at CES 2019 and showcased the Bell Nexus, a new VTOL aircraft that is being developed as Uber’s preferred platform for its Elevate air taxi service.
Check out this video from Engadget:
Apart from the sci-fi, “Blade Runner”-esque look, what’s impressive with Bell’s flex-off is that it unveiled a full-scale configuration, which tells us a lot about how far the company truly is into its development. That’s a welcome thing, knowing how CES’ reputation is built on wide-eyed promises that take a long time to fulfill, if at all (*scoff* Holo Lens *scoff*).
There’s much to talk about the tech behind the Nexus, and we’ll try not to bore you with aviation tech lexicon.
First, it works almost excatly like a drone, allowing it to take off and land vertically and with ease. It also can rotate 90-degrees to allow itself to speed up, making for a plane-like experience. Second, the Nexus is engineered to perform as efficiently as it can. It uses a hybrid electronic system, which literally means it will fly better and far quieter than many existing helicopters. Third, and most importantly, the Bell Nexus fits in most landing pads, meaning there won’t be much infrastructure changes required when it populates our skies.
According to Bell, the Nexus can fit up to four people, excluding a pilot. That fits perfectly with the Uber Elevate air taxi program, giving passengers the ability to travel sky-bound 150 miles in an hour.
The Bell Nexus is slated for service as early as 2023.