We thought Rolls Royce, maker of very important and complicated real things that lives depend upon, would know better than this, but no. It has decided to generate a bit of publicity for itself by telling serious flight industry enthusiasts at the Farnborough Airshow that it is developing a system that'll be used in flying taxis by the early 2020s. You're more likely to see sausages flying home from the supermarket using bacon as wings.
Despite the obvious regulatory problems in making massive lumps of metal fly through and land in and around places people go, Rolls says there's enough impetus and money out there for it to get to work on designing an "electric vertical take-off and landing" system for landing rich people on their boats and then taking them home again on Sunday evening.
This fantasy scenario includes the dream that vehicles powered by Rolls's EVTOL powerline could reach speeds of up to 250mph, should, that is, they ever move from on-paper pretend land to final product that councils say is fine. Which they won't. Feel free to bookmark this page and come back to it in 2025, when the only way taxis will be any better is after the new anti-free-speech laws have banned drivers from talking to passengers and stopped them putting local radio on. [BBC]