In traffic-clogged cities such as Houston, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles, it can take hours to drive a few miles during rush hour.For years, inventors have been working toward a potential solution: vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. Though some know them as "flying cars," early prototypes more closely resemble a hybrid version of an airplane and a helicopter with a hint of drone, rather than a conventional automobile.
Among the most highly anticipated examples of an air taxi is the Bell Nexus, an "urban air mobility vehicle" that debuted at this year's CES technology show in Las Vegas. Bell Helicopter, which created the prototype, said the idea behind the technology is simple: Instead of idling in traffic, a commuter could order a flying taxi to shuttle them across town from above, bypassing the congestion below.
Uber, which has unofficially partnered with Bell Nexus, has said its fleet of air taxis would be able to travel 150 to 200 mph, allowing the company to whisk passengers across a sprawling metropolis such as Los Angeles in minutes instead of hours.