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Thread: SeaBubbles - Water Taxis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Austin, TX, USA
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    Default SeaBubbles - Water Taxis

    Watch this experimental river taxi fly above the surface of the waves

    http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/30/15123550/seabubbles-flying-river-taxi-video-images-exclusive?yptr=yahoo


    Photo: SeaBubbles

    Last year, a futuristic water taxi startup called SeaBubbles first revealed its bold vision to revolutionize urban travel: a network of autonomous, egg-shaped river shuttles equipped with hydrofoils and distributed to cities situated on major waterways around the globe. The idea seemed pretty far out at the time, but now the creators have shared the first images of their first full-scale prototype exclusively with The Verge. And as you can see, this thing literally flies above the surface of the water.


    Image: SeaBubblesPhoto: SeaBubblesSeaBubbles’ electric-powered shuttles will be made of fiberglass and high-density foam, with linen interiors. The foils affixed to the hulls reduce the amount of drag, allowing the “bubbles” to travel as fast as 30 knots in water around a city. They will be able to carry up to five passengers and a driver, though the founders hope to eventually have a self-driving system. Specially designed docks would also serve as charging stations.

    The vessels will be hailed by smartphone app like Uber, with whom the founders say they’ve spoken to about possibly partnering up. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is also a supporter, they say. They’ve also met with mayors from around the globe about bringing their waterborne vessels to a variety of cities.
    SeaBubbles faces enormous financial and regulatory challenges. Bringdal and Thebault have to build a working prototype, woo investors, convince city officials to allow them to operate in their waterways, and build an app for passengers. Uber just built an app. SeaBubbles will have to create an entire transportation network from scratch.
    But come on, how fun does this look?































    The vessels literally hover inches above the water thanks to a similar physics phenomenon that powers the record-setting Hydroptere sailboat in the air. Alain Thebault and Anders Bringdal, a sailor and windsurfer, respectively, started the company in early 2016 and have already raised €4 million ($4.3 million), with a goal of raising €20–30 million more to implement the full vision. Backers include the founder of drone maker Parrot, Partech Ventures, and the French government-backed BPI fund. The founders are aiming to have over a dozen vessels in the River Seine in Paris by this summer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: SeaBubbles - Water Taxis

    Last year, a futuristic water taxi startup called SeaBubbles first revealed its bold vision to revolutionize urban travel: a network of autonomous, egg-shaped river shuttles equipped with hydrofoils and distributed to cities situated on major waterways around the globe. The idea seemed pretty far out at the time, but now the creators have shared the first images of their first full-scale prototype exclusively with The Verge. And as you can see, this thing literally flies above the surface of the water.


    Uh...did anyone read the recent posts in the Millennials thread about waterfronts being developed and dock spaces disappearing?

    Looks great in theory.

    I do hope that I am wrong.

    Kevin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Newport, OR
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    Default Re: SeaBubbles - Water Taxis

    Great. A bunch of hipsters boating and texting. What could go wrong?
    M/V Carlyle III
    50' 1930 Menchions Shipyard

  4. #4
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    Sep 2004
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    Huntsville, AL
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    4,781

    Default Re: SeaBubbles - Water Taxis

    They are coming to Lake Geneva in Switzerland in April 2018 - with a driver.


    https://eturbonews.com/169108/geneva...g-taxi-service
    Will

  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: SeaBubbles - Water Taxis



    I have only run two hydrofoil boats ( one, actually; the other was, " foil assisted.") a 24 footer and 20 footer, but from those experiences, I would say that this endeavor requires larger boats that rise further above the water's surface, if they are to survive the normal sea conditions in a big city harbor. Unless they are to supplant ferries, tugs and and tour boats, they will have to deal with the washing machine conditions the wakes of that fleet's constant plying creates.

    Kevin

    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Pennsylvania
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    7,755

    Default Re: SeaBubbles - Water Taxis

    They'll need to disguise a few as gondolas for Venice.

    I see this going the way of the Segway ... promises of revolutionizing transport only to devolve into a minor tourist gimmic.
    -Dave

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