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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

Go deeper

Dec 28, 2021 - World

Dispatch from Europe: What it's like to travel during COVID

A technician in PPE performs COVID tests next to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris this morning. Photo: Glen Johnson/Axios

PARIS Pharmacies from Italy north to Paris are offering cheap, quick COVID tests as countries try to preserve their holiday traditions and economies.

Why it matters: Europe has been ahead of the U.S. in suffering the effects of Omicron.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."