May 1, 2019

Miami may be the perfect city to test out flying cars

Rendering of flying car skyport atop the Paramount Miami World Center. Illustration: World Satellite Television News/Paramount Miami Worldcenter

Future residents of the 60-story Paramount Miami World Center won't have to bother with trying to hail a ride at street level. Instead, they can take a glass-enclosed elevator up to the rooftop skyport and be whisked off by a flying car.

Why it matters: South Florida is a prime market for VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) air taxis because of the region's congested highways and affluent population, says Daniel Kodsi, developer of the center.

Flying car technology is inevitable, per Kodsi:

  • "We are just a few years away from the first flights, which could start in the 2020s, depending on regulatory issues," he says.
  • To prepare for that future, his firm designed the 60th-floor SkyDeck pool so it can easily be transformed into a SkyPort.
  • The floor of the swimming pool will rise as shown in this video, draining all the water, and convert itself into a takeoff and landing pad.
  • Kodsi says he's in talks with several VTOL air vehicle manufacturers.

Context: Helicopter landing pads have adorned buildings for decades. But Kodsi claims the new Miami tower would be the first in the world designed especially for so-called flying cars.

Yes, but: While some advocates predict flying cars will be here within a decade, no one knows whether masses of people want to fly in taxis, or whether the many logistical and regulatory hurdles can be cleared.

Details: The $600 million tower, now under construction, will have 524 high-end apartments including 26 penthouses, with prices ranging from $700,000 to $1.5 million.

The bottom line: With his TV royalties, surely George Jetson could afford to retire there.

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