Chennai, India (Urban Transport News): A tech start-up supported by Indian Institute of Technology- Madras (IIT_Madras) has developed an electric flying taxi, which can fly faster than a helicopter in ferrying passengers. The electric flying taxi was first time showcased at the Aero India 2023 that took place in Bengaluru, India.
The electric taxi was developed by a start-up ePlane Company established by IIT-Madras. ePlan Company was founded in 2017, showcased the electric flying taxi at the Aero India event this week in Bengaluru.
According to the start-up, the electric flying taxi was developed to ease urban travel. The start-up developed the electric flying taxi to make urban travels quicker and hassle-free. The prototype is a electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVOTL) model and offers a range of around 200 km on a single charge.
The startup informed that the electric flying taxi can travel 10 times faster than cars. It also said that the cost of one ride per passenger will be around two times more than what Uber usually charges for the same distance. Pranjal Mehta, CEO of ePlane Company and Professor Satya Chakravarthy, CTO of the startup, said they got the idea build the electric flying taxi after seeing a video on electric ground transportation.
According to them, the flying taxi does not need to much of space to land or takeoff. In fact, it occupies 25 square metre of area to stay parked. It weighs around 200 kgs and comes equipped with 4 ducted fans as its propellers.
It can carry two passengers in one ride and can cruise at speeds between 150 kmph and 200 kmph. The maximum cruising altitude of the flying taxi is 457 meters (1,500 ft). The battery from which the flying taxi draws power is not swappable. Although, the start-up has not given much information about its size and charging details.
According to the startup, the flying taxi is ideal for roof-top to roof-top urban air mobility in any city. The ePlane Company has raised around $1 million fund to develop the model. As of now, this flying taxi requires a pilot to operate.
However, the startup intends to offer autonomous technology in future. However, the flying taxi has not been showcased in action at the Aero India show. The company is aiming for the e200 to make around 10 short trips of 10 to 15 km (up to almost 10 miles) on one battery charge.