Boeing CEO says flying taxis will 'happen faster than we understand'

Flying taxis could be close to taking flight within the next ten years. 

That's according to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg, who said the aerospace giant has been testing prototypes of sophisticated flying taxis that could one day be capable of ferrying humans to and from places, not unlike an Uber. 

'I think it will happen faster than any of us understand,' Muilenberg told Bloomberg. 

'Real prototype vehicles are being built right now, so the technology is very doable,' he added. 

Scroll down for videos   

Pictured is the LightningStrike, a flying taxi created by Aurora Flight Sciences, that can ferry passengers between locations called 'urban vertiports,' similar to high-tech helipads 

Pictured is the LightningStrike, a flying taxi created by Aurora Flight Sciences, that can ferry passengers between locations called 'urban vertiports,' similar to high-tech helipads 

Muilenberg has been designing what would be the 'rules of the road for three-dimensional highways' that carry autonomous flying taxis,  Bloomberg noted. 

Boeing signaled that it's doubling down on flying taxis when it agreed to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences, an aviation and aeronautics research company, last October. 

Aurora was recently awarded an $89 million contract from the Defense Department to develop its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) plane, called the LightningStrike, which uses electric-powered propulsion.

The eVTOL plane will provide on-demand transportation to 'minimize long commutes due to heavy traffic and urbanization in populated areas,' Aurora says.

That would also involve developing 'urban vertiports' where passengers can board flying taxis. 

Test flights could begin as soon as 2020 in Dallas and Dubai, Bloomberg said. 

The firm has also developed flying taxi concepts as part of its partnership with Uber.

Aurora works with Uber on its Elevate program, which is an initiative focused on advancing VTOL aircraft and the 'future of urban air transport,' including flying taxis.

Pictured is Aurora's electric VTOL aircraft. The firm is working with Uber on its Elevate program, which is an initiative working to make flying taxis a reality 

Pictured is Aurora's electric VTOL aircraft. The firm is working with Uber on its Elevate program, which is an initiative working to make flying taxis a reality 

Uber's own CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has predicted that the company will roll out self-flying taxis within the next five to 10 years. 

The company is developing an airborne version of its ride-hailing app, called UberAIR, which is expected to launch in 2020. 

Uber is also working with Embraer SA, a Brazilian planemaker that's in 'tie-up talks' with Boeing, according to Bloomberg. 

More than a handful of companies are working on creating their own flying taxi prototypes, making it a close race between top aerospace and aviation to establish a leader of the pack. 

The Boeing chief isn't the only one who's bullish on the future of flying taxis. 

A recent study by Deloitte forecast that flying taxis could become commercially available in the next two years. 

NASA has also commissioned a study looking at Urban Air Mobility, which describes a system of autonomous and piloted vehicles capable of carrying passengers and cargo in urban areas.  

WHAT TYPE OF FLYING TAXIS COULD WE EXPECT TO SEE IN THE FUTURE?

Advances in electric motors, battery technology and autonomous software has triggered an explosion in the field of electric air taxis.

Larry Page, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet , has poured millions into aviation start-ups Zee Aero and Kitty Hawk, which are both striving to create all-electric flying cabs.

Kitty Hawk is believed to be developing a flying car and has already filed more than a dozen different aircraft registrations with the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA.

Page, who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin back in 1998, has personally invested $100 million (£70 million) into the two companies, which have yet to publicly acknowledge or demonstrate their technology.

Secretive start-up Joby Aviation has come a step closer to making its flying taxi a reality.

The California-based company, which is building an all-electric flying taxi capable of vertical take-off, has received $100 million (£70 million) in funding from a group of investors led by Toyota and Intel.

The money will be used to develop the firm’s 'megadrone' which can

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

NEXT Aliens could be living in the acid clouds of Venus say Nasa (but they are ...