Nov 29, 2021 - Sports

France tests "flying taxis" for 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris

  A Volocopter, an electrically powered drone taxi, on display in Shanghai, China, in April.

An electrically powered Volocopter drone taxi on display in Shanghai, China, in April. Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

French officials are testing "flying taxis" that they plan to roll out for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

The big picture: The plan that's "unprecedented in Europe" is to create a "vertiport" to ferry passengers via the electric air taxis during the Olympics and Paralympics, per an Aeroport de Paris statement.

  • American eVTOL manufacturer Joby Aviation will join other companies, including Volocopter, Airbus, Vertical Aerospace and Ascendance, to conduct tests at a hub site in Pontoise, in the northwestern suburbs of the French capital.
  • One route will transport passengers between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget airports and central Paris. The route is via two suburbs in the southwest of the city.

What they're saying: Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, France's minister delegate for transport, said in a statement that the French state was "fully committed" to the project had already provided nearly 25 million euros ($28 million) for the development of flying taxis and supported other innovative transportation projects.

  • "Everything is falling into place: partnerships, innovation, test areas, regulations, financing," Djebbari said.
  • "All the ingredients for success are there, all that remains is to make it happen."

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Ina Fried: The 2021 Tokyo Olympics also served as a chance for Japanese telecom giant NTT to test telepresence tech like remote cheering and holograms.

Go deeper: Electric air taxis prepare for takeoff

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