Tencent wants to replace cars with flying taxis

The firm says that the new vehicle will be a cheaper and greener alternative compared to a normal car.

Screenshot taken from https://lilium.com/the-jet Screenshot taken from https://lilium.com/the-jet

It’s finally November 2019, and Blade Runner promised us flying cars. So where are they? Well, Tencent says that it’s working to make this future a reality.

David Wallerstein, the company’s chief exploration officer and senior executive vice president, introduced a technology called electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) during the Tencent WE Summit last Sunday.

Tencent has invested in German eVTOL company Lilium, which is looking to raise USD 500 million for its flying taxis, according to TechCrunch.

Wallerstein said that these vehicles will be a cheaper and greener alternative than driving a car. Lilium vehicles have a range of 300 kilometers (186.4 miles), can fit five passengers and reach speeds of 300 kilometers per hour. The vehicle is under testing and getting ready for the market. It had its first flight in May.

“China has a great opportunity to be an early adopter of this technology,” Wallerstein said.

However, Lilium may face competition in China. Aside from western rivals, Lilium will have to face local favorite EHang.

This article first appeared in Abacus News.