German Company Lilium Earns $90 Million to Build Their Flying Taxi

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 - 7:31PM
Technology
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 - 7:31PM
German Company Lilium Earns $90 Million to Build Their Flying Taxi
YouTube/Lilium
The skies are about to get very crowded. It's been well documented that a variety of different companies are currently competing to perfect flying car technology first.

Most are going the taxi route, since you can't always trust ordinary folks to transport themselves safely in a flying car (DUIs would be messy to say the least). So it seems preferable to simply ferry customers around in one of these inventive new vehicles, rather than let us fly off into the sunset ourselves.

This is the plan that German company Lilium is opting for, but with one unique selling point that makes them stand out for the crowd: the company aims to be the first to produce an entirely electric flying car, in order to provide cleaner running vehicles that are better (although still far from harmless) for the environment.

This is a lofty goal, not least because electric cars have difficulty transporting heavy cargo for an extended distance even when they're not constantly fighting against the cruel pull of gravity. For Lilium to achieve their goal of a five-seater flying electric car, it's going to take some serious funding.

As luck would have it, that's exactly what Lilium now has - the company announced that it has received a new round of funding that amounts to over $90 million, which should go a long way toward helping them solve the challenges inherent in trying to get an electric motor to soar through the skies in a safe and consistent fashion.



Lilium has already had some success with their flying car efforts thus far - a successful remote controlled test of a two seater prototype was achieved back in April, and the company hopes to be testing manned flights by 2019, for a scheduled 2025 commercial start. While other companies are looking at the possibility of self-driving flying cars, Lilium's focus on human pilots may well give it the edge it needs to get ahead of the competition, as unlike other flying cars, the company won't need to solve the problems of AI landings and takeoffs.

Lilium hopes their technology will help to make commuting a lot easier for those who live further away from city centers, which will certainly be true of anyone who lives in a treehouse or atop a large mountain, but should also help those who can afford the service to escape the crushing pull of the suburbs (almost as horrific as the constant drag of gravity).

The ultimate winner of the current race to build a flying car remains to be seen, but Lilium does seem to have a chance, thanks to its extensive funding and its time-saving human pilots. The company's prototypes aren't quite as cool as a genuine flying DeLorean, but commuters aren't going to complain if it means getting to make colleagues jealous by turning up to work in a flying car.
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