A year ago, Lake Nona received exciting news about “flying taxis” potentially coming to our city. German tech company Lilium selected our region to be home to their first U.S. vertiport, which is the first step of many to bring air taxis to the area. In a recent development, NASA has joined forces with the City of Orlando to begin developing what an oversized-drone-ridden world would best look like.
While many companies have already applied to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to become certified in air taxi travel, there is yet to be an officially-approved vehicle. NASA’s partnership with Orlando hopes to strategize and bring those companies to the city for common use in the next few years. Some of these are said to be ready to serve passengers as soon as 2024 or 2025.
Having Lilium’s vertiport already established in Lake Nona means that the region will be extremely attractive for other tech companies with flying vehicles to produce or simply attract people all over the world by providing convenient and quick, traffic-less travel to surrounding areas. Also, having the vertiport allows the city to institute guidelines, zoning laws, and economic development to best accommodate this form of air travel. NASA’s expertise with the subject, in addition to Orlando’s legislative power to enable these new developments, will be of great benefit in bringing air taxis to people of all classes.
The partnership will function to assimilate cargo-carrying drones and passenger-holding drones into our transportation scenes and infrastructure. NASA has only four other partnerships so far in the U.S. for its Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) initiative, which aims to provide affordable, sustainable and safe air travel for individuals of any economic class.
These vertical-rising, large drones may be commonplace in Orlando within the next few years. A Lilium representative predicted that a ride will cost about the same as an Uber in 10 years.
Watch out, Meet the Robinsons! Orlando is one step closer to having its own flying cars.