#Bell Helicopter has revealed the cabin for an electric, self-piloting air taxi during the last week of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The aircraft manufacturer was commissioned by Uber to design a concept for its upcoming aircraft taxi service scheduled to launch in 2020.

Uber to partner with NASA

Bell's presentation followed #Uber's announcement of its future partnership with NASA to develop a flying taxi service in Los Angeles within the next two years. According to Dezeen.com, Bell described their ‘urban air taxi’ as a ‘comforting, relaxing space‘ with the capacity to accommodate up to four passengers. ‘Bell has been moving people over urban obstacles for decades with traditional rotorcraft,’ the company comments, ‘now we are expanding the scope of air travel and aviation technology to advance life’s conveniences.’ The concept has onboard connectivity features which include WiFi, artificial intelligence, a video calling interface, and wireless charging.

The new service is said to be rolled out in the near future, and it will enable the long-anticipated urban air commute. In a related development, Uber announced it would partner with NASA in a joint industry and government enterprise to develop software intended to manage the upcoming flying taxi network. The latter is speculated to work in a way similar to existing ride-hailing services, yet offering its users an option to move around the city at a fraction of the time of their regular ground-bound commute.

Flying taxi's propulsion system yet to be specified

Only a real size cabin prototype was showed off at CES, and it did not fly. Although no details about the aircraft's propulsion have been made public at the event, according to fastcompany.com the vehicle will be outfitted with a gas turbine powering an electric generator.

Top Videos of the Day

The cabin's propulsion is speculated to be based on a combination of components like rotors, fans, and wings, and according to designoom.com, relevant technical details will be revealed by Bell at a later date. With up to four passengers capacity, the electric vehicle will be self-piloting, thus being an AI steered drone. Described by tech news website theverge.com as a cross between a traditional helicopter, a light aircraft and a passenger-carrying drone, the future flying cab will be available on-demand, offering vertical take-off and landing within restricted urban spaces. Other similar products launched at CES which ran until 12 January 2018 included Byton's self-driving SUV featuring facial recognition and gesture controls, as well as the latest drivers' brain scanning technology presented by Nissan.