Drone ‘bus’ able to carry 40 people from NYC to the Hamptons for just $85 in 2024

Drone ‘bus’ able to carry 40 people at a time will let New Yorkers fly to the Hamptons for just $85 – a fraction of the cost of a helicopter – but start-up creators say it won’t be ready until 2024

A startup is designing a drone bus to compete with public transportation The vehicle will be able to transport 40 people, plus a pilot The first route is set to take passengers from Manhattan to the HamptonsThe 30-minute flight will cost $85 and is set to kick off in 2024 Other routes include San Francisco to Los Angels and Paris to London

While Uber Elevate plans to launch an air taxi service for up to four passengers in 2023, a New York-startup is thinking bigger by developing a drone bus that fits 40 people.

Kelekona recently unveiled plans for a giant electric vertical takeoff and landing craft (eVTOL) to transport people between cities, with the first route set for Manhattan and the Hamptons.

This flight would take just 30 minutes and cost flyers $85 – the same price as a train ticket.

The firm is eyeing 2024 for its first passenger flights and plans to expand into different regions soon after that includes London to Paris and Los Angeles to San Francisco. .

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Kelekona recently unveiled plans for a giant electric vertical takeoff and landing craft (eVTOL) to transport people between cities, with the first route set for Manhattan and the Hamptons

Founder Braeden Kelekona told Digital Trends the company’s main competitor is public transportation, as many travelers hit the road, squish into trains or waiting on line for the bus when starting a vacation or weekend getaway.

And it seems fitting that the first route would be in New York.

‘We have a really small airspace in New York,’ Kelekona told the news outlet.

‘It never made sense to us to create a small aircraft that was only able to carry up to six people.

The firm is eyeing 2024 for its first passenger flights and plans to expand into different regions soon after that includes London to Paris and Los Angeles to San Francisco

The firm is eyeing 2024 for its first passenger flights and plans to expand into different regions soon after that includes London to Paris and Los Angeles to San Francisco

To achieve one-way, one-hour flights, Kelekona is developing a swappable battery method similar to what Tesla uses in its Model S and Model 3 cars

To achieve one-way, one-hour flights, Kelekona is developing a swappable battery method similar to what Tesla uses in its Model S and Model 3 cars

‘You have to have the kind of mass transit we rely on here in the city. It makes sense to try to move as many people as possible in one aircraft, so that we’re not hogging airspace.’

After Kelekona gets the New York route up and running, the firm plans to add other pathways including Boston to New York; New York to Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles to San Francisco.

The drone bus, which resembles a mash-up of a flying saucer and blimp, is designed with eight thrust vectoring fans with movable propellers to perform all stages of flight: vertical takeoff, forward flight and landing.

And to achieve one-way, one-hour flights, Kelekona is developing a swappable battery method similar to what Tesla uses in its Model S and Model 3 cars.

The drone bus, which resembles a mash-up of a flying saucer and blimp, is designed with eight thrust vectoring fans with movable propellers to perform all stages of flight: vertical takeoff, forward flight and landing

The drone bus, which resembles a mash-up of a flying saucer and blimp, is designed with eight thrust vectoring fans with movable propellers to perform all stages of flight: vertical takeoff, forward flight and landing

By utilizing swappable batteries, the drone bus can cut turnaround time when flying between hubs, thus eliminating the need to recharge.

The battery pack, according to the New York startup, will also be equipped with 3.6 megawatt hours of capacity, which is enough to power thousands of homes.

Along with taking passengers for joy rides, Kelekona also sees its drone bus transporting cargo for military personal in war zones or assisting as an aerial medical evacuation in the event of an emergency.  

Although Kelekona has a route picked and date set for passenger flights, it has only designed its drone bus in computer simulations.

But Kelekona told Digital Trends that the world should ‘expect to see our aircraft in the air next year.’

Uber Technologies sold its air taxi arm in December to Joby Aviation, but the deal has not pulled the plug on Uber’s initial plans to ferry passengers through the skies by 2023.

While terms of the transaction were not released, Uber has agreed to invest $75 million in Joby Aviation.