Building the World

If Cars Could Fly: Innovation Cities


Popular Science, 2008. Image: wikimedia.

France invited the world’s innovators to “make our planet great again.” Now, the city that hosted the world Climate Agreement will welcome a new R&D center with a budget of $23 million and a goal of developing an electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle – a flying car. Actually, a taxi. It’s an Uber endeavor, joining the company’s network of R&D hubs in Pittsburgh, PA and San Francisco, CA, USA, as well as Toronto, Canada. In France, the project will include an educational five-year research partnership with École Polytechnique. Charlemagne might approve: combining innovation with education was in part responsible for the earliest development of universities. Another model linking education with R&D: medieval craft guilds. Like Charlemagne’s hubs, Paris, home of the Eiffel Tower, looks upward. Name of the flying car program? Elevate.

Kottasová, Ivana. “Uber invests millions to build flying taxis in France.” 24 May, 2018. CNN.

Macron, Emmanuel. “Make our planet great again.” 2 June 2017.

McFarland, Matt. “Uber unveils plans to demo flying cars by 2020.” 25 April 2017, CNN,

Uber. “Uber Elevate: The Future of Urban Air Transport.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Skip to toolbar