It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but aviation and technology leaders are working to make electric-powered flying taxis a reality, including Airbus, Uber and a range of startups. Now, Aston Martin says it aims to corner the market for luxury flying vehicles in the future. The British sports car maker has presented a futuristic personal aircraft it has called "a sports car for the skies."
The three-seater hybrid-electric vehicle was shown last week at the Farnborough Airshow in England.
The Volante Vision Concept design has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities and will be able to hit speeds of around 200 mph, meaning it "can go from the center of Birmingham to the center of London in about 30 minutes," Aston Martin's Simon Sproule told Reuters.
"The same way that you have Uber and you have an Aston Martin, you'll have 'Uber in the skies' and you'll have 'Aston Martin in the skies,' " said Sproule, adding that such an aircraft won't come cheap.
"This is clearly a luxury object — it's a sports car for the skies — so pricing is going to be commensurate with that, so certainly into the seven figures."
Aston has partnered with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and British jet engine maker Rolls-Royce to develop the concept vehicle, including artificial intelligence-powered autonomous capabilities.
"It feels like a fighter jet, but at the same time, it has the Aston Martin luxury," said David Debney, chief of future aircraft concepts at Rolls-Royce.