Developers start planning for flying cars

A concept drawing of the Joby S2 aircraft. Picture: Uber white paper

Developer Dan Kodsi sees flying cars on the horizon.

The chief executive of Royal Palms Companies says he expects air taxis to fill the sky in the next 10-15 years — and he’s preparing for their arrival on the roof of the Paramount Miami Worldcentre.

About a dozen companies are developing vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL, vehicles.

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These electric aircraft, born aloft by multiple propellers, are expected to travel at speeds of up to 370km/h, drastically ­reducing commute times and gridlock. Last year, Uber Technologies announced plans to launch a VTOL ride-sharing network in Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth by 2023.

Uber aircraft

An artist’s impression of an Uber landing site. Picture: Uber white paper.

VTOLs will have pilots at first, but over time they are expected to become autonomous. According to a recent Uber white paper, VTOLs will be half as loud as a truck passing a house and weigh far less than a helicopter.

Condos at the Paramount will be completed in the northern spring of 2019 and range from $US700,000 to $US10 million ($12.9 million).

The skyport at the Paramount will repurpose two amenities, Kodsi says. A rooftop swimming pool was designed to accommodate a hydraulic lift that operates what is known as a movable floor or a hidden pool; the bottom of the pool will rise through the water in a matter of minutes to create a 280sqm landing surface.

A 130sqm sky lobby, where residents will wait for their air taxis with the assistance of a doorman, will initially be used as an observatory.

“You want to be part of the group in the real estate industry that’s reacting now,” Kodsi says.

– The Wall Street Journal 

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