Tired of sitting in traffic?
Worry no more, as you may soon be able to fly safely over the bumper-to-bumper sprawl to your destination.
Futuristic as it sounds, for Singaporean residents, flying taxis are just around the corner.
German aircraft manufacturer Volocopter announced last week that it would be trialling “inner urban flight tests” of its eVTOL vehicles in Singapore starting in the second half of 2019.
“We are getting ready to start implementing the first fixed routes in cities,” said CEO of Volocopter, Florian Reuter.
“Singapore is a logical partner: the city is a true pioneer in technology and city development. We are confident this is another exciting step to make air taxi services a reality.”
Electrically powered, the driverless eVTOL can carry two passengers for just over 30km.
Although it resembles a helicopter, it utilises drone technology to manoeuvre between buildings in an urban setting.
It is also relatively quiet, Volocopter claiming that it cannot be heard over typical city background noise from a height of 100 metres.
The initiative is supported by Singapore’s Ministry of Transport, Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).
"Volocopter's decision to set up a local product design and engineering team in Singapore is a testament to Singapore’s aerospace engineering talent, as well as our prime position for industry players,” said Executive Director of the EDB, Tan Kong Hwee.
“We are excited to welcome Volocopter to Singapore and look forward to our future partnerships.”
While the Singapore trial marks the first significant pilot of the technology, Volocopter last year performed the first-ever autonomous flight of an air taxi through Dubai.
German aviation authorities have also granted a provisional licence to Volocopter.
Hot on the heels of Volocopter, Uber is also pouring resources into its ‘Uber Air’ project.
The Silicon Valley rideshare company has said it will launch demonstration flights across the world in 2020, with plans to have the service operational by 2023.
The trial cities so far announced are Los Angeles and Dallas, with a third and final city still to be decided.
Japan, France, Brazil, India and Australia have all recently been shortlisted by Uber as possible trial locations.