Paris’ famous Seine River is set to be home to a new piece of technology that looks straight out of the future.
These flying boat taxis, named “Sea Bubbles”, are the creation of French yachtsman Alain Thébault and Swedish windsurfer Anders Bringdal. The taxis are due to be tried out in the French capital next spring at the request of the city’s environmentally conscious city hall.
The Sea Bubbles taxis are made of biodegradable fibreglass and high-density foam. They use a solar powered battery driven propulsion system, which means they produce zero emissions. Hovering above the water at approximately two feet above the water, the taxis generate no waves, even at full speed, which means that they do not erode the river walls. The taxis are silent and have a range of 80-100km.
Currently they are designed for five people, including the taxi’s pilot, although there are discussions about creating self-driving models once regulations allow it. The creators of Sea Bubbles hope that users will be able to order the taxis with an application similar to Uber, and anticipate that the service will cost no more than 10 Euros a ride.
It is hoped that implementing this new means of transport will help reduce the environmental impacts of both congestion and also carbon emissions.
If the project is successful in France, then there is the opportunity for other cities around the world to employ this new technology.