You don’t know disappointment until you’ve watched a kid's movie about 2020 and then grown up to see that instead of us regular people getting monochrome suits, dogs with translation collars, and two-seater flying pods, we get AirPods and advanced avocado slicers. When will us laymen get to ride the shiny flying Tic Tacs, huh?
The answer is now. Or should I say, maintenant (now, but in French) because flying water taxis are coming to Paris as early as spring of 2020.
The new taxis, adorably titled SeaBubbles, are hydrofoil boats, meaning they hover when they increase in speed. Whereas before we were forced to conclude that people from the future just figured out how to make heavy objects totally immune to gravity, now we can explain how it actually works: The hydrofoil elements below the vehicles vessel develop enough to raise the vessel out of water, reducing drag and allowing the pod to zip around.
And zip they... sort of do. The little guys can travel up to 7.5mph, which is a little womp womp, but the fact that you'll be hovering about 20 inches above water definitely makes up for it. The pods fit four people at a time and they can be booked via a smartphone app.
SeaBubbles CEO Anders Bringdal told The Associated Press that “the most important for us is no noise, no waves, no pollution. And bring them into cities that are congested.” He also said the pods just make sense economically.
“If you compare a similar size boat with an engine, you are going to run 30, 40, 50 euros an hour in fuel cost when this one costs you 3 dollars or 3 euros." If you're suspicious of his quick currency conversions, know that right now the current conversion is .91 euro to 1 United States dollar.
In the heat of climate protests, I'm also happy to report that the pods are totally electric and will recharge by wind, solar, and hydro energy when they are plugged into a dock on Paris' Seine river.
The company is still waiting for approval, but with employees at the Louvre striking in May 2019 due to "suffocating crowds," and other clear displays of French frustration with overtourism in recent years, it seems likely that different ways to diffuse the selfie stick masses will be welcomed with open arms.