Flying Taxis in the UK
The UK government has announced a £273 million funding package for the nation’s aerospace industry to invest in technology such as solar-powered planes, flying taxis, and drones carrying medical treatments. The money that Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng presented today at the Farnborough International Airshow aims to increase employment and innovation in the industry.
A total of £155 million of the funds will be used for green aerospace research, including battery and hydrogen technology. In addition, £105.5 million will support initiatives creating new air transportation systems and vehicle technologies through the Future Flight Challenge. The government estimates that the projects might make up to 8,800 employment opportunities.
Superhighway for Drones
Following the proposal, the UK will also construct a 164-mile automated drone superhighway within the next two years, linking Cambridge and Rugby. With the NHS starting experiments to deliver cancer medications by drone in an Isle of Wight trial, Britain’s skies have become more congested. While 50 additional postal drone routes will be introduced by the Royal Mail over the next three years, Skyports is testing the delivery of school meals by air.
For at least one month, Urban-Air Port will run Air-One in the centre of Coventry with cooperation from Supernal and backing from the UK government. Urban-Air Port plans to build more than 200 vertiports globally using the blueprint provided by Air-One to accommodate the expected demand over the next five years.
Through the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, an additional £12 million is being made available to assist programmes that will “unlock future businesses through regulation.” For example, science fiction has traditionally included flying taxis. However, thanks to recent developments in electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) technology, numerous firms compete to sell intra-city air transportation.
The flying taxi company Joby Aviation Inc., based in California, recently applied for certification to export its eVTOLs to the UK. Firms like these are constantly in contact with authorities. In addition, the British flying taxi firm “Autonomous Flight” announced a $100 million Series C investment in December of last year.
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