Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

The future is not quite here yet

April 30th, 2021
Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Adding a couple more to the “just five years out horizon” list of wonderfully unrealistic promises in mass transportation sector, courtesy of this tweet.

First off, back in 2016 the breathless “Airbus Expects Flying Taxis by 2021“:

Airbus have announced the unthinkable and stated their desire to introduce flying taxis. As crazy as it might sound, the idea has been put forward by a subdivision of the aerospace and defense corporation named A3. They are responsible for creating innovative ideas and, based on this latest development, they’re certainly delivering.
Their latest design would be completely autonomous, requiring no driver and hailed using a traditional smartphone app. Customers would open the app and order the flying taxi to their front door before being whisked off to their next destination without the need to tackle rush hour traffic.
Given the number of ideas that don’t take off, it would be easy to dismiss this as just another marketing gimmick. It is not unknown for companies to announce far fetched ideas to drum up publicity before quietly removing all funding. With this project, however, the first notable milestone is very much in sight.

Certainly delivering. Very much in sight. Yes indeed.

The second one, a bit later in 2017 (with 2021 still being the target year) from “A New Hyperloop System is Slated to Connect European Cities by 2021“:

It looks like the Netherlands would soon join Slovakia, and the Czech Republic as the next European country to have a Hyperloop. A Dutch team from the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) won this year’s edition of SpaceX’s competition to develop this next generation, super-fast transport technology, and they’re already setting up a full-scale testing center.
The initial round of testing has already received $675,000 in funding. More would be needed for a high-speed test line by 2019 to accomplish their goal of setting up a Hyperloop system between Amsterdam and Paris by 2021.

Meanwhile, the best Hyperloop has been able to do so far was a 15-second [!!!] ride late last year in Las Vegas. Of course, the five-year out horizon is still very much alive.