Given the exploding population of humanity that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, the only avenue left for casual travel is in the air. Commercial airlines have taken the gauntlet for decades, and the next avenue is private air travel in flying taxis. Now that times have been unprecedented this year due to the ominous COVID-19 pandemic, Italian designer Andrea Ponti has designed the idea of concept electric flying taxis that’ll be autonomous. The vision is to create a safe mode of air travel for China’s greater bay area (nine cities and two administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau) for starters since the pandemic has pushed travel and tourism against the wall. A personalized means of commute for inter-city transit, making sure there’s minimal contact during travel.
The all-electric flying taxi derives inspiration from Hong Kong’s popular bird of prey – the black Kite. Hence, Andrea has understandably named his concept the Kite. It has a quadcopter-like propulsion system similar to that of drones with entry to the plush interiors from a single rear door. This drone-like flying car is designed to comfortably transport four people to their destination – sans any traffic congestion or fear of getting infected by the coronavirus. Step inside the interiors and passengers are embraced with private jet-like luxury and of course social distancing to keep up with the norms. There are infotainment systems to keep track of things like current weather, distance to the destination, or perhaps a collection of your favorite movies. Under the seats, there is storage for keeping your belongings like bags or briefcases, and for people who have constricted time, there are retractable trays for working or having a quick snack before arriving for an important business meeting.
Andrea says that Kite will land on docked platforms at the designated location that have charging ports to juice up for the next flight. To make sure the landing is smooth, the flying pod has retractable all-weather skids. The flying taxi has a contoured design to keep the drag down and ensure that it is energy efficient for long flight durations. For now, the idea seems quite feasible as flying cars are already knocking down the doors, literally ready to transform the way we commute!
Designer: Andrea Ponti