Automakers aren't only interested in transportation for city streets: They've set their sights set on the skies. Porsche is the latest to toss its hat into the air mobility ring and said on Thursday it's partnered with Boeing to help explore options.
The German company said Boeing and its subsidiary, Aurora Flight Sciences, will develop a prototype flying taxi with an electric powertrain. Engineers from both companies will work alongside each other to develop what it means to build a "premium mobility" vehicle for the air.
The concept will take the form of a vertical take-off and landing vehicle, or VTOL. This type of contraption does not require a runway like an airplane and operates more like a helicopter. Propellor forces allow the VTOL to take off from the ground, but the challenge is finding enough power and force to lift the machine. Numerous companies have looked into the technology including, and plenty of other startups. In fact, Kitty Hawk also recently for the same technology.
Following the concept, the companies will begin tests of a prototype vehicle, though it's unclear what kind of timeline Porsche and Boeing are working with.
Porsche cited a 2018 study conducted internally that showed urban air travel will become a popular travel option after 2025. Obviously, air taxis could help clean up congestion problems on city streets pretty effectively
The problem, aside from technology not quite ready for prime time, is regulation. Right now, regulation would prohibit any low-flying aircraft in cities. That's something companies will need to hash out in the future before any air mobility dreams take off.