Think that autonomous flying cars à la the movie ‘Blade Runner’ are still way off in the future? One Miami skyscraper developer doesn’t.
With automakers and VTOL drone developers such as Porsche, Lilium and Kittyhawk all working on their answer to George Jetson’s morning commute, the reality of flying cars in city airspace is getting closer and closer.
It’s a future that veteran developer Dan Kodsi is certain, telling The Miami Herald, “It’s not a question of if, but when.’
His plans for the Paramount Miami Worldcenter in Florida, USA have been showcased in a video that presents a futuristic vision of residents returning home to the highrise’s ‘Skypad’.
The residential tower, which will be delivered in spring 2019, will culminate at 260 meters and will count about sixty storeys. And it is naturally at the top that will be the platform where the autonomous flying cars will land.
Kodsi’s plans include modifying the 5,000-square-foot rooftop to accommodate the Skypad, the inspiration of which came he says from reading about Uber Elevate.
The video features passenger drones, designed for vertical take off and landing (VTOL) – but what is unclear is whose VTOL drones they will be.
Both German innovator Volocopter and transport disruptor Uber have previously presented visions of skytop landing pads for passenger drones, and both present some sort of cable-car-like loading/unloading systems.
Even if the Paramount Tower plans to offer luxury services as soon as it is delivered, the drone taxi service will not be tested until 2020. This year coincides with the marketing of a prototype of these vehicles by Airbus. Uber in collaboration with NASA are expected to launch their flying taxi offer in 2023, five years before the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
What remains to be seen is if the Miami Paramount Worldcenter will be built to accommodate passenger drones already under development, or if Kodsi’s plans are sky high.