Boeing CEO hails the air taxi as the next big thing

Aurora eVTOL
An artist’s conception shows the eVTOL air taxi being developed by Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing subsidiary. (Aurora / BCG Digital Ventures via YouTube)

It’s not exactly a revelation that the Boeing Co. is interested in autonomous flight, including robo-planes that can fly people. But in a Bloomberg News interview, Boeing’s CEO says air taxis could be coming sooner than expected.

“I think it will happen faster than any of us understand,” Dennis Muilenburg, who also serves as Boeing’s president and chairman, told Bloomberg in last week’s interview. “Real prototype vehicles are being built right now. So the technology is very doable.”

The timetable for technology adoption will depend on how quickly regulators work out the “rules of the road” for autonomous flight, he said.

Fleets of air taxis could well become commonplace within a decade, Muilenburg said, but he cautioned that “it won’t be all turned on in one day.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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