Lilium, a German electric flying car start-up, has hired a well-known designer to help bring its science-fiction concept to reality.
Frank Stephenson was behind the designs of cars including the fresh Mini Cooper, Ferrari F430, as well as McLaren P1.
He is actually today heading up design at Lilium, which is actually creating an on-demand air taxi service as well as his vision is actually to create a vehicle of which people won’t want to leave.
“If you get in a taxi, watch how quickly people get off, they don’t waste time. You should walk away (through a Lilium jet) as well as the first thing you tell people is actually how much you enjoy the trip,” Stephenson told CNBC in a phone interview Monday.
Lilium’s idea is actually to create an app, like Uber, where a person can hail a flying car. Next year, the item wants to have its first manned flight as well as then by 2025 have a fully-operational taxi service. The jet is actually able to vertically take-off as well as land, meaning the item doesn’t need long runways like an airplane.
Stephenson is actually focusing on the Indoor of the flying cars, the kind of stations of which people will board through as well as, ultimately, how of which will work.
The designer said there will be entertainment systems on board as well as materials of which can turn opaque as well as then transparent. of which would likely mean you could potentially change the floor of the jet transparent to see down to the ground.
He then described what the stations, where people can catch a Lilium jet, would likely be like.
“I envision them as ports,” he said. “the item depends on what you want to do. If you are in a city that has a lot of infrastructure around, you won’t have This particular land close to you where there are dogs as well as kids around.
“What you will probably do is actually go to a building that has a rooftop of which will have a facility for a very little area, much smaller than a helicopter, that has a landing pad.”
Lilium incorporates a serious backer inside the form of Chinese internet giant Tencent, which led a $0 million funding round inside the German company last year.
however there is actually still a long way to go. Lilium’s technology will require adjustments to aviation rules in many countries as well as will likely need to strike deals with governments to get its technology commercialized.
The start-up also faces competition through different air taxi firms. Kitty Hawk, the company backed by Alphabet CEO Larry Page, recently unveiled its flying car, with the CEO Sebastian Thrun telling CNBC in February of which the vehicles could be inside the air within all 5 years.