The Blockchain, Autonomous Vehicles, and Flying Cars

One of the most exciting and disruptive technologies in the transportation sector right now is the development of Urban Air Transport vehicles (popularly but inaccurately referred to as “flying cars”). We’ll have a panel discussion featuring this technology and how it may play out in the future along with associated cybersecurity risks at the Summit. In the meantime, here’s a short survey of some of the companies competing in this space.

The video embedded above showcases a Skolkovo-backed startup “Project Bartini” that’s developing a flying taxi that will become part of Uber’s Elevate initiative as early as 2018. This project was borne out of Ethereum’s Blockchain Research Centre that was launched at Skolkovo (Moscow’s version of Silicon Valley) in 2016 and the startup is raising money via an ICO.

Cartivator is a Japanese startup that raised 2.6 million yen via crowdfunding website Zenmono in 2015. This year Toyota has invested ¥42.5 million in the company with the goal of having its flying car called Skydrive light the Olympic Torch at the 2020 games held in Tokyo.

Aurora Flight Sciences, a U.S. aerospace company that works in both commercial and defense sectors, is building an eVTOL prototype for Uber Elevate’s urban air taxi service that it plans to launch in Dallas-Ft. Worth and Dubai in 2020.

Airbus is developing the Vahana at its Silicon Valley startup A-3³ (called A-Cubed) and will be ready to test the first prototype of its flying taxi in November.

Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group just acquired Terrafugia, a Boston Urban Air Mobility startup founded by five MIT graduates. Geely already owns Volvo and Lotus.

This isn’t a complete list, and undoubtedly more Urban Air Mobility startups will emerge in the months to come. Two of these ventures were crowdfunded (Bartini and Cartivator) and one of those was an ICO (Initial Coin Offering).

If you’re interested in this space, reserve your seat for the Securing Mobility Summit today.