Everyone has to start somewhere, and air taxis are no exception.
Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, said it completed the first flight of its autonomous air taxi Tuesday at a small airport outside Washington, DC. No one was on board. The flight lasted less than a minute, according to Boeing, and it didn’t actually go anywhere. Instead, it hoveredabove the runway. Boeing declined to share how high above the ground it flew. ButBoeing is hailing the achievement as a milestone for its NeXt division, which develops autonomous airplanes. The flying carprototype is 30 feet long and 28 feet wide. It’s designed to fly up to 50 miles at a time.
To help cities grapple with the unexpectedly rapid influx of new micromobility services, Transportation for America has released a “playbook” with policy options around licensing, maintenance and equity, among other topics. The guide was produced with officials from 23 cities participating in the group’s Smart Cities Collaborative.
Among other policy options, the playbook explores how cities can permit and license new micromobility options, including the right to deny and appeal. Notably, the guide recommends that cities should “require all companies to indemnify the city from legal liabilities” related to loss or damage to persons or property from using dockless options on public space.
“The rapid emergence of these new micro-mobility services has created new clean and convenient options for people to get around, and they certainly offer a wealth of potential benefits. But there’s still so much to learn,” Russ Brooks, Transportation for America’s Director of Smart Cities, said in a statement.
Last week in Atlanta, Georgia we wrapped up our second cohort of the Smart Cities Collaborative with the fourth meeting of 2018. Once again, staff representing cities, counties, transit agencies and other public sector agencies from 23 cities gathered together to share their experiences and learn how others are using technology and new mobility to become better places to live.
Here are seven things we learned or heard last week: