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Tencent wants to replace cars with flying taxis

Tencent wants to replace cars with flying taxis
Tencent’s David Wallerstein said that only about 1% of cars sold were electric, meaning carbon emissions are set to rise. Flying taxis could be a solution. (Picture: Lilium)

It’s finally November 2019, and Blade Runner promised us flying cars. So where are they? Well, Tencent says that it’s working to make this future a reality. David Wallerstein, the company’s chief exploration officer and senior executive vice president, introduced a technology called electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) during the Tencent WE Summit last Sunday.

Tencent has invested in German eVTOL company Lilium, which is looking to raise US$500 million for its flying taxis, according to TechCrunch.

Wallerstein said that the vehicles will be a cheaper and greener alternative than driving a car. Lilium vehicles have a range of 300 kilometers (186.4 miles), can fit five passengers and reach speeds of 300 kilometers per hour. The vehicle is under testing and getting ready for market. It had its first flight in May.

“China has a great opportunity to be an early adopter of this technology,” Wallerstein said.

However, Lilium may face competition in China. Aside from western rivals, Lilium will have to face local favorite EHang.

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Tencent has a new Tinder clone for 'high quality socializing'
Tencent has a new Tinder clone for 'high quality socializing'
Qingliao only shows users a limited number of profiles at a time. (Picture: Qingliao/iOS App Store)

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Man sues NetEase after his friend sells a US$1.4 million game character for US$500
Man sues NetEase after his friend sells a US$1.4 million game character for US$500
The local court touted this case as an example of how judges can mediate cases remotely. (Picture: Sichuan High Court)

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Didi will soon roll out a self-driving taxi service in Shanghai
Didi will soon roll out a self-driving taxi service in Shanghai
Didi’s autonomous driving team is developing and testing self-driving vehicles in both China and the US, the company says. (Picture: Didi)

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The Vivo S1 Pro for Southeast Asia has a brand new look
The Vivo S1 Pro for Southeast Asia has a brand new look
The new Vivo S1 Pro for Southeast Asia looks nothing like the one that launched in China earlier this year. (Picture: Vivo)

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The Three-Body Problem animation trailer is getting mixed reactions
The Three-Body Problem animation trailer is getting mixed reactions
Former US President Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have both read The Three-Body Problem. (Picture: Bilibili)

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China says its first permanent space station will be ready by 2022
China says its first permanent space station will be ready by 2022
Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng (left) and Chen Dong (right) entering the Tiangong-2 space lab on October 19, 2016. (Picture: Xinhua)
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Xiaomi patent shows a foldable phone similar to the Motorola Razr
Xiaomi patent shows a foldable phone similar to the Motorola Razr
Motorola’s new Razr has an additional touch screen on the outside, but Xiaomi’s outside display looks considerably smaller. (Picture: National Intellectual Property Administration)

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