VivaTech: we entered the flying taxi which should be inaugurated for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

This is the return of the biggest European show dedicated to new technologies. The sixth edition of VivaTech brings together for four days hundreds of big names in tech and some 1,200 start-ups – including the most innovative from each French region – over four days, including one day dedicated to general public visits, Saturday June 18.

Organized by Publicis and The echoes, the event that brought together nearly 26,000 visitors at Porte de Versailles in 2021 and more than 100,000 online, got off to a flying start on Wednesday. And one of the stars of the show is undoubtedly Volocity, the 100% electric flying taxi model from the German company Volocopter. France info was able to discover this giant drone and meet its sales manager for France.

A fantasized image of the future present in many science fiction films such as Star Wars Where The fifth Element, the flying car is one of those inventions that are announced to be imminent but which have still not been put into service in 2022. The wait could well be coming to an end: the German company Volocopter is presenting its Volocity model at VivaTech, a flying taxi offering a 100% electric and low-carbon offer, which should make its first commercial flights on the occasion of the 2024 Paris Olympics. This model designed for fully automatic operation has two seats, for a pilot and a passenger. In fact, today there is no “no legal framework allowing the transport of people in an autonomous vehicle without any human driver”, explains Jean-Christophe Drai, France sales manager for Volocopter.

This device of 700 kilos empty can carry up to 200 kilos of load. Volocity has an impressive wingspan of 12 meters in diameter and two meters high, halfway between a helicopter and a giant drone. It can fly at a cruising speed ranging from 70 to 80 km/h (i.e. a Le Bourget – La Défense trip in around 17 minutes, with take-off and landing procedures), with an altitude of up to 300 meters . This flying taxi works thanks to 18 motors and 9 electric batteries and could be put into service for the first time in two years in Paris. The first test flights were carried out as part of a partnership with Aéroports de Paris (ADP) and the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP).

“The technology is ready and maturewelcomes Jean-Christophe Drai. We are currently undergoing the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification process, which will continue until the end of 2023. In 2024, we will be able to operate approximately four flights per day on defined routes: Charles de Gaulle – Le Bourget, Le Bourget – La Défense or even Issy-les-Moulineaux – Saint-Cyr-l’École. And two additional lines could be defined by the Olympics.”

Regarding the price, it should initially “approximate the cost of transport by helicopter, around 250 euros”according to Jean-Christophe Drai. “Between 2026 and 2030, it is hoped that such a Volocity trip will reach the cost of an Uber Black (the luxury service of the VTC brand, Ed)”, specifies the sales manager.

Guided tour of the Volocity flying taxi in video:

VivaTech, from Wednesday June 15 to Friday June 17 for professionals, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday June 18, 2022 for the general public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Paris Expo Porte de Versailles Hall 1. More information on the VivaTechnology website

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