General Motors is exploring options in the aerial taxi market, including whether to build the vehicles known as "flying cars," as part of a push by the U.S. automaker to look for growth in related transportation markets.
What Are Ais Taxis?
Air taxis are vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft that use electric motors instead of jet engines. Designed to avoid the need for long runways, they have rotating wings and, in some cases, rotors in place of propellers. Electric air taxis are likely to fly low-level routes, relieving traffic congestion on roads. But they could add to air traffic congestion as they become more popular.
Wouldn't you know, GM shares were up almost 1.7% in midday trading after the news. Corporate and private investors have poured at least $2.3 billion into more than 100 aerial vehicle startups, including drones and electric air taxis, but the technology still faces significant roadblocks to commercialization and profitability, according to investor website PitchBook.
GM is weighing all options - whether to build, supply or partner - as it decides whether to join such automakers as Hyundai Motor, Toyota Motor, Volkswagen, and Geely Automobile in the still-developing market, said sources who asked not to be identified.