Lilium, a German start-up has launched a self-flying taxi. The machine is a five-seater taxi which can travel up to 300 km within only sixty minutes. Powered by 36 electric motors, Lilium reported that the machine can fly up to 300 km for about an hour on a single charge.
In the first test flight earlier this month, the taxi took off, hovered and landed vertically. Future tests will invest in achieving the goal of making the aircraft move from a vertical to a horizontal flight. The latest Lilium Jet first took to air at 08.03 local time in Munich, Germany on May 4, 2019. The aircraft was controlled remotely from the ground.
The start-up confirms plans of a mass-production and the company plans to achieve it by mid-2020. Previous inventions have also created self-flying taxis, including the transportation and network giant, Uber. Lilium’s contribution is however different; apart from being world’s first self-flying machine, the craft can accommodate five people on board. Previous inventions of self-flying taxis seat not more than two people at a time.
Daniel Wiegand, Co-founder, and chief executive of Lilium, reported in a statement: “Moving from two to five seats was always our ambition as it enables us to open up the skies to many more travelers.” Reports suggest the aircraft will undergo several more tests in the future. The latest invention will allegedly contribute in curbing pollution and will also enhance urban mobility. The energy consumption of Lilium Jet is ten times less than a normal aircraft. “The aircraft would not just be capable of connecting suburbs to city centres and airports to main train stations, but would also deliver affordable high-speed connections across entire regions,” says Lilium.
The start-up is funded by Tencent; LGT, the international private banking and asset management group; Atomico among others.