Guess what’s happening next? Flying taxis, of course.
The notorious Uber has signed a contract with space specialists Nasa to develop the quixotic-sounding things, which could be operational in time for the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.
The firm plans to start trialling its four-passenger UberAir ships in 2020 above LA, which will apparently be capable of zipping along at an impressive 200mph.
Speaking at an event in Lisbon, Uber’s chief product officer, Jeff Holden, said: ‘Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies. Combining Uber’s software engineering expertise with Nasa’s decades of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward.’
Hang on – they haven’t even got self-automated cars to work properly yet; shouldn’t they learn to self-drive before they can fly?
Furthermore, Uber are currently banned from having anything to do with traditional ground-based taxis in London, so I can’t see the authorities readily giving them a licence to fly above the capital.
None of this, however, has dampened the spirits of LA mayor, Eric Garcetti, who said: ‘Los Angeles has always been a place where innovators come to build new ideas that can change how we live our lives. LA is the perfect testing ground for this new technology and I look forward to seeing it grow in the coming years.’
I’m no expert, obviously, but, bearing in mind that Amazon are yet to get a small drone to drop a DVD down your chimney despite years of hype, I’m going to go out on and limb and predict that this isn’t going to happen.