Flying taxis have been the stuff of science fiction movies for decades. But if all goes well for Volocopter, this dream could be available for hire later this year. The Bruchsal-based aviation startup aims to revolutionize urban mobility with its fully-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxis. The Volocopter 2X – which claims to be the world’s first safe manned eVTOL – looks like a big, round, 18-rotor drone and carries the meaty part of a mini helicopter with plenty of room for two. So while its competitors are theorizing, Volocopter is making quiet, eco-friendly air taxis a reality, with a team boasting members from Airbus Helicopters and Siemens, and with backing from heavyweight investors like Daimler and Intel. In 2016, it was given provisional licensing by the German aviation authority, and it staged the global premiere of an autonomously-flying air taxi in Dubai at the end of last year.