More than 7,000 attendees of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas stopped by Bell Helicopter’s exhibit to get a sneak peek at “the future of urban air transportation.” Among the guests lined up for the Air Taxi virtual reality ride were Silicon Valley guru Guy Kawasaki and Avengers actor Anthony Mackie, though they presumably skipped the line and the two-hour wait.
As companies race to make “flying cars” and air taxis a reality as early as 2020, Bell has already partnered with Uber Air to “develop technologies that will lead to an aircraft to satisfy short distance urban operations.” Based on the augmented reality simulator at CES, Bell is indeed committed to providing “class-leading comforts” and a “seamless, connected experience.”
The company believes the future of transportation is coming sooner than we think.
“Bell Helicopter is innovating at the limits of vertical flight and challenging the traditional notion of aviation to solve real-world problems,” Bell Helicopter’s President and CEO Mitch Snyder said at CES. “The future of an urban air taxi is closer than many people realize. We believe in the positive impact our design will have on addressing transportation concerns in cities worldwide.”
Even the FAA’s new acting administrator Dan Elwell visited the exhibit to take a simulated voyage with Bell and Uber officials, in addition to discussing the importance of safety and innovation.