Flying Taxis Are Coming to Geneva Next Year

Maria Sergeeva
October 24, 2017

Have you ever dreamt about a flying cars when you were stuck in a traffic jam? It's 2017 and  the flying transport of your dreams is almost here  and you won’t even have to drive it. The start-up that develops an innovative concept of electric boats did not obtain the conditions it hoped in Paris after a trial run this summer for its "flying taxi". It will settle in Switzerland, on the shores of Geneva’s Lac Léman, according to Le Figaro.

The electric-driven SeaBubble, called a “flying taxi” due to the hydrofoils that lift it 70 centimeters out of the water, has been successfully tested on the Seine in Paris in June. it was thought  Paris would become the first city in the world to use the electric boats as a mode of transport.  According to French yachtsman Alain Thébault, one of the Sea Bubble’s creators, the independent port authority of Paris offers pontoons for €1,000 per day and “is governed by rules set up 140 years ago for barges”, he said.

Facing this administrative and financial burden, Thébault preferred Switzerland.

The zero-emission flying taxis powered by solar energy through panels will be able to transport five people, four passengers and a pilot, from Geneva to a neighboring town. The wings under the boat lift it off the water to reduce the drag significantly.

SeaBubbles work via four hydrofoils that reduce drag and two small engines, powered by solar energy. They float two feet above the water when in motion and can reach speeds up to 18.5 miles per hour. they received a much more tempting offer to set up in Switzerland.

The Frenchman has been working on the vehicle designed like a Fiat 500, for the last 25 years, he writes on his website. And He says to be upset by the u-turn in Paris.

"I'm French, my start-up is in France, I had the support of Anne Hidalgo and President Emmanuel Macron, but there are too many administrative constraints to get started in Paris right now,"

"We will not continue to spend months discussing with the management," he added. 

The Mayor of Paris has not given up hope however and has promised to try and find a solution and persuade port authorities to bend the rules.

However even in Geneva several steps must to taken before launching the Sea Bubbles can on the city’s waterways, said Geneva minister Luc Barthassat.

Approval must be given by the relevant authorities, adequate docking space must be found on Lake Geneva and an operator must be designated to run the service. 

If SeaBubbles were put in service in Geneva next year, they would be the world’s first flying taxi service integrated with local transportation.

Anyway, Alain Thébault hopes expanding the SeaBubbles venture to several other cities around the world, including New York City, Tokyo, and Bangkok.