With populations increasing at a rapid rate, the number of cars, buses and trucks filling our roads have reached record highs. Unable to cope with vehicle pressure, traffic jams are building up causing major delays, stress and anger for frustrated commuters daily.
Now, a solution has been put forward to help combat traffic congestion and decrease travel time. A French start-up has developed a flying river taxi called Seabubbles that will enable users a smooth and quick ride to their destination avoiding traffic chaos along the way.
Here, Boldbusiness.com looks at a bold idea that could soon revolutionize land-based vehicle travel in the United States and beyond.
According to Bloomberg Technology, interest has already been shown in test driving the Seabubbles river taxi service in Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area. In fact, these two interests are helping to secure a third round of funding in less than a year to get the project up and running.
The concept put forward by founders Alain Thebault and Anders Bringdal is to build battery powered ‘bubbles’ that hover, a bit like a hydroplane, a few inches above the water level reducing the amount of drag on the water. Each Seabubble can carry up to six passengers to their destination in a smooth and uninterrupted journey.
The concept was born following a similar technique that was used to propel Thebault and Bringdal to world record heights in their Hydroptere sailboat.
So far, the makers have managed to raise just over 4 million USD and are hoping to raise at least ten times that amount to get the project off the ground in the United States.
It is claimed that in the San Francisco Bay area, Seabubbles will save commuters at least an hour a day in travel time from downtown to the Silicon Valley and back.
San Francisco is one of the key areas the makers have pitched for both investment and potential customers, and a place they envisage developing innovative additions to their business like autonomous driving and battery-charging.
The Seabubbles themselves, recharging docks and a river taxi-hailing app are currently being developed and will be ready to test in Paris in June, according to the founders.
Initial funding efforts were pulled together thanks to French insurer Maif, drone-maker Parrot SA, Partech Ventures and the French government-backed BPI fund, and with fans of the concept including Larry Page, Prince Albert of Monaco and Betrand Piccard, the third-round of funding is likely to come to fruition this year.
With calls for a revolutionary new off-road vehicle concept being sought within the United States, experts predict that Seabubbles could prove majorly beneficial to commuters and help decrease congestion on the roads.
It is bold ideas like this that take innovation to the next level, and will help relieve the headaches encountered by road users daily.