Veteran developer and recreational pilot Dan Kodsi is combining his passions for building and flying with an eye on a future he believes is closer than most of us think with his new building, the PARAMOUNT Miami Worldcenter.
Apart from the state of the art amenities you’d expect in any modern new tower, this one has something special on its roof – a 5,000 square foot Skyport for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, or what the average Joe on the street would call flying cars.
“The future of transportation is here within the next 10 to 15 years and urban aviation is closer to reality than you might expect,” explains Kodsi on his extravagant and undoubtedly costly plans. “The flying vehicles will use airspace to alleviate transportation congestion and traffic on the ground for quicker daily commutes, and cleaner air around the world. These vehicles are more like a helicopter but much quieter, run electronically and are environmentally friendly.”
But are flying cars a reality that’s inevitable or more fantasy a la Blade Runner 2049? It seems now more than ever that it’s the former. Ever since UBER announced its Elevate project exploring the barriers that would make VTOL aircraft a reality and its plans to start testing urban air taxis in Dallas Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Dubai in 2020, the tech race has gained more and more momentum.
Now developers around the world have revealed their plans to launch flying cars. To name a few, there’s the German developers of the electric Volocopter(“Perfection. Safety. Reliability: made in Germany.”) and Lilium (which just secured $90 million series B funding), Airbus’s Vahana, the Chinese developers of the Ehang 184 and Terrafugia, the Kitty Hawk Cora (funded by Alphabet (aka Google) CEO Larry Page) and last but by no means least, the Workhorse Surefly.
If that list doesn’t give you an indication of the money, time and expertise being poured into the concept and its viability as a commercial industry, what will. But of course, for any of these concepts to become a reality in our everyday lives, they’ll need places to land and takeoff – which is where Kodsi’s Skyport comes into its own.
Already under construction, the Miami Worldcenter is on course for completion in the spring of 2019, which is likely way before any of these flying taxis become the norm in life. But as anyone knows, it’s better to be prepared and ready than to turn your back on progress.
The future it seems is closer than we might think.