Airbus steps up push for flying taxis, on-demand helicopters
Airbus is creating a division to oversee futuristic transport options in a sign the European planemaker is going on the offensive against tech providers and startups encroaching in the market.
Airbus named company veteran Eduardo Dominguez Puerta, 40, on Monday to head its newly formed Urban Air Mobility unit. Puerta helped start the firm’s innovation center in Silicon Valley, where he served as chief operating officer.
Projects that will be overseen by the division include an autonomous flying cab prototype called CityAirbus, an electric flying taxi named Vahana and Voom, billed by Airbus as a premier on-demand helicopter booking platform. Ride-hailing app creator Uber Technologies Inc. and startup Kitty Hawk, backed by Google’s co-founder Larry Page, are also working to develop airborne taxis.
Last week at a technology conference in Paris, Airbus also unveiled an electric drone shuttle named Pop.up that it’s developing with German carmaker Audi.
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