Report: GM Is Jumping Into Flying Taxi Development

One of the big problems with the 2024 Olympics being in Los Angeles is traffic. Congestion continues to increase even with freeway widening efforts across the Los Angeles basin. The word is that several companies are developing flying taxis to literally hop over the congestion. These would have the look of large drones and seat six or eight people at a time. This could be the new frontier so GM is jumping into flying taxi development right now.

These aerial taxis should be the salvage of the 2024 Olympics if they can be ready

The Bell Nexus concept vehicle | Getty

These aerial taxis should be the salvage of the 2024 Olympics if they can be ready. They are a perfect solution for the problems LA sees because these low-flying drones can perform a number of tricks. Vertical take-off and landing is one that also addresses land use. All that is needed is an area of open space as opposed to a runway.

With rotating wings or rotors they utilize space better than a helicopter and everything can be powered by electric motors. This way they are clean and quiet. In the context of traffic-choked cities and the image of a giant drone, this seems like a doable approach with four years to go. 

Reuters quoted GM CEO Mary Barra at an RBC conference as saying, “We believe strongly in our EV future and not just for vehicles. The strength and flexibility of our Ultium battery system open doors” to other things like “aerial mobility.” 

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The goal isn’t to create flying taxis as much as to efficiently move people

Pal-V Liberty flying car aerocar | Pal-V-
Pal-V Liberty flying car aerocar | Pal-V

GM has been partnering up with other companies to shorten development times and increase its presence in the EV space. It hasn’t done so in the aerial mobility arena. Hyundai, Volkswagen, Toyota, Geely, and Daimler are all in the development of flying vehicles. But the goal isn’t to create flying taxis as much as it is to efficiently move people. 

So with that in mind, there would have to be restrictions on who could license and fly these multi-passenger drones. Otherwise, we would create the same mess of congestion that these were meant to rise above. Think of it as low flying planes with fewer people capacity. The expense of these vehicles could be amortized easier if these were restricted to commercial applications as opposed to private use. 

For this flying taxi idea to work for 2024 it needs some regulation

flying car over city looks current but also futuristic
Flying Taxi

Los Angeles knows that for this flying taxi idea to work for 2024 it needs some regulation. At the World Economic Forum last year the city revealed general guides for urban aerial mobility systems. Recently, New Hampshire became the first state to approve a flying car plan.

There needs to be investment potential to fast track the technology and there is so much interest that it is already happening. Like $2.3 billion happening so far. At least at this stage development money is not a problem. That’s because city congestion is a massive problem, there is a tech answer, and 2024 is looming. And with GM added to the growing list of manufacturers looking to add their weight to the problem it is sure to signal the future of mobility. Aerial mobility, that is.