Five seater self-flying air taxi unveiled

A German start-up has unveiled what it says is the world’s first five seater self-flying taxi.

Lilium said the prototype had its first test flight earlier this month, in which it took off, hovered, then landed again. It said the craft, which is electric powered, is capable of travelling up to 300km in just 60 minutes.

A number of other firms have tested self-flying taxis, but none seats more than two people.

Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and chief executive of Lilium, said: “Moving from two to five seats was always our ambition as it enables us to open up the skies to many more travellers.”

The taxi is powered by 36 electric motors that allow it to take-off and land vertically. Lilium said it was capable of flying for one hour on a single charge. It will now undergo more tests, the next goal being to make it move from vertical to horizontal flight. Lilium says it hopes to go into mass production by the mid 2020s.

Airbus, ride hailing firm Uber and a range of start-ups have been testing self flying taxis.

Advocates say the vehicles could enhance urban mobility and cut pollution.

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