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This is the latest vision of a flying taxi, entering the race to transform our skies. And it's a crowded race, Airbus, Uber, AeroMobile, and Volicopter are just some of the companies working on launching unmanned flying taxis using drone technology. Reuters Eric Auchard says aerospace engineers have been working on this for the past 30 years, but the industry's been gathering pace recently.
>> Technology companies have started to get involved. And they're starting to take advantage of lighter weight materials, electric batteries and also funding, which is helping them scale up to deliver actual commercial projects. Some say we could see them as early as next year, 2020. The big question will be, when do regulators let them fly?
>> And it's the regulators that are holding up the future of air travel. The industry is only just coming to grips with autonomous or driverless cars like these. Autonomous flying cars with passengers on board is a whole new scale of regulations. But some experts believe there's a huge pent up demand for door-to-door flights.
>> Rather than having to spend an hour getting to an airport, going through security and all, that you could have sky hubs located in urban areas that would get you from point A to point B very quickly. The cost will be borne initially by wealthy people ready to spend a lot of money.
And then once it has more customers, it will be less of a vanity concept and the plan by companies like Uber are to make it a mass market service in the next four to five years.>> Vertical Aerospace is a relatively new player inspired by Formula One technology.
It's aiming to skip the tech revolution needed to make autonomous flights a reality and offers short haul intercity flights with a pilot in the next four years. Vertical's looking to target some of the most congested air corridors in the world with aircraft's that don't require runways. But the question remains, is the general public ready?