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Flying taxis may be years away, but the groundwork is gaining pace

For now, companies envision these taxis to be like drones that are big enough for people

This is what Airbus imagines flying taxis to be like. Its service, called CityAirbus, can carry up to four passengers. It is expected to be launched in 2023.

An illustration of Lilium's prototype air taxi. Just like in the early days of self-driving cars, companies are digging in now so they are not left behind later. No one knows whether these vehicles will turn out to be a real business, but it has not stopped companies from going into tie-ups with partners to explore the idea.

San Francisco

FLYING cars are just starting to inch their way out of science fiction. But that is not stopping some companies from planning for flying taxi services.

A growing collection of tech companies, aircraft manufacturers, auto-makers and investors are betting that fleets of...