This Flying Boat Is the Robo-Taxi of the Future (and It’s Coming to the Bay Area)
Forget flying cars, flying boats are here. And they’re ready for take off.
Travelers and locals alike have become increasingly familiar with the Bay Area’s punishing traffic jams, which at times might make L.A.’s freeways look like a breeze. Now, a new company is aiming to help take the pressure off the roads with their new electric water taxi. The hope is that these boats made by Navier will result in a cleaner, quieter future for our lakes, rivers and coastal waters.
The company’s entirely electric hydrofoiling watercraft has moved quickly from idea to prototype to production. The N30 Transformer, the world’s first “Flying Water Taxi,” has already made its maiden voyage in the San Francisco Bay. And the startup is now touring the West Coast, bringing its electric hydrofoiling watercraft to the masses.
Because nearly 50 percent of the world population lives in coastal cities, Navier is aiming to put underutilized waterways to work, with the end goal being what they are calling “robotaxis on the water.” Their team includes MIT aerospace engineers, roboticists, former Google X engineers, and the chief naval architect from Oracle’s 35th America’s Cup-winning team. Notable investors, such as Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Android co-founder Rich Miner. For those that may be concerned about getting woozy on the ride, rest assured. Because of the hydrofoiling technology, the company promises a smooth ride that’ll avoid any seasickness.
Limited public runs of the N30 will begin this month. You can keep up with details on the company’s website.