How about travelling in an air taxi when you reach Los Angeles in 2028 for the Summer Olympics?
Yes it is becoming a reality, Adam Goldstein, chief executive officer of Archer Aviation has informed me that he is planning to introduce air taxis by 2028
What makes Los Angeles a perfect place for testing and launching air taxis? It is its parking lots, high-rise buildings and other infrastructure capable of handling air taxi modalities.
In 2019, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti launched a non-profit named urban movements lab to research and develop new concepts and ideas for urban mobility. Since then, the NPO has worked with various business entities such as Archer, Hyundai, and others to assist lawmakers and engineers in preparing the city for future airspace.
In 2021, the department of transportation of Los Angeles city came up with a report mentioning the several issues and regulations which will be working for air taxi projects. Issues related to noise levels, social impact, permits, and agreements were all part of the report.
World Economic Forum had already published a report in 2019 on-air taxis even before DoT Los Angeles. The report outlined seven principles which will guide in establishing air taxis in large urban cities. There were mentions of noise pollution, equity of access and analysis related to other transportation modes.
While there have been serious considerations from stakeholders and entities regarding rolling out air taxis soon, concerns are equally present about the project. Members of civil society have continuously put up questions about the safety of air taxis. Researchers are also studying the impact of air taxis on the quality of life. Affordability and equal access like what has been mentioned in WEF 2020 reports are also concerned of important.
Many have raised questions about what will happen when there is a constant stream of air taxis coming in and out of a landing spot? Should there be nighttime restrictions on flights? Will this just be a means for the ultra-wealthy to buzz over poor neighbourhoods to Dodger Stadium or Crypto.com Arena?
According to Goldstein, in the future, people can expect to travel from Pasadena to LAX on air taxis. What will take almost 60 to 90 minutes on the road will only take five to ten minutes in air.
He also believes that the routes of air taxis will be pre-determined and these vehicles can trail each other on very specific routes. It will almost be like vehicles moving, in an imaginary tube.
“The industry is going to launch with a crawl, walk, run approach where there will be certain routes that will become popular,” Goldstein said
About the Aircraft
Archer Aviation, which Goldstein is part of, is currently testing an aircraft which can travel through 150 miles per hour (ca. 241 kilometres per hour). According to specifications accessed by the Los Angeles Times, the aircraft has a 40-foot wingspan and 12 rotors.
Los Angeles transportation officials are preparing for this new era. They’re expecting drone-like electric air taxis to be operational by the time the 2028 Summer Olympics roll around, if not far sooner.