Friday, September 16, 2016

App-based flying water taxi to unclog Paris streets!

To unclog Paris streets, two entrepreneurs are building an egg-shaped river shuttle
that will essentially fly above the Seine, the next iteration of which will be summoned by a smartphone and piloted by a robot.  If that's not incredible enough, a founder of SeaBubbles said that the company raised 500,000 euros ($555,000) to do just that, with backers including the
founder of drone-maker Parrot SA, Partech Ventures and the French government-backed BPI fund. Another funding round will take place to develop a taxi app and docking stations.
The company wants to build battery-powered bubbleshaped ships that hover a few inches above water and transport five people at a time. The founders intend to be operating by the summer of 2017.
As it seeks more cash to turn its bubbles into cabs, the startup said it has reached out to car-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc and construction company Vinci SA and
luxury-goods maker LVMH. Talks are on, they said. “You've got packed roads and empty waterways in a lot of cities -there's an obvious opportunity ,“ co-founder Alain Thebault said.
Founders Anders Bringdal and Thebault, a surfer and a math-loving sailor respectively , together broke the record for speed on a floating sailboat they'd designed in 2009. They said SeaBubbles has the support of Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has pledged to cut pollution in the city .
Each shuttle will carry five people, including a pilot, but the goal is to forgo the pilot and make the system fully autonomous in a few years once regulation allows it, Thebault said. Currently, navigation rules on the Seine don't permit the operation of vessels that lack a skipper. Car makers, battery vendors and software engineering companies have expressed interest in helping develop upgrades and scale production, he said, declining to cite any names.
The bubbles would get a lift and hover above water.  The startup will sell the pods to individuals, countries, cities and firms.

Source: TOI


  1. What a cool idea. I hope it works.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  2. I hope you haven't quit blogging. I've missed you.

    Thanks for swinging by Comedy Plus today. Have a fabulous day. ☺

  3. I think this is a great concept! I, too, hope it works. :)