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Archer Aviation unveils electric air taxi for launch in 2024

·2 min read

Archer Aviation on Thursday unveiled its first-ever electric air taxi and used a virtual reality flight to demonstrate how the aircraft will operate.

The California-based aircraft manufacturer used extended reality (XR) technology to simulate a commercial flight during the Thursday debut of its two-passenger, electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) named "Maker."

"Archer has a big, bold company vision and our approach to this milestone moment had to match that," Louise Bristow, head of marketing and communications at Archer, said in a Thursday statement.

He continued: "We wanted to deliver an experience that went beyond the conventions of normal product launches and to bring together a unique group of partners to create something truly immersive for our audience."

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The company is aiming for a 2024 commercial launch of a four-passenger version of Maker in Miami and Los Angeles.

Video of the simulated flight shows Archer Aviation co-founders and CEOs Brett Adcock and Adam Goldstein flying over cityscapes and mountains.

The battery-powered air taxi will eventually help customers avoid dense traffic by transporting them up to 60 miles at 150 mph for between $3 and $4 per mile. The air taxi service might eventually resemble a rideshare service like Uber in the future.

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"Maker’s unveil has been years in the making and marks a pivotal juncture for the eVTOL industry and future of transportation," Adcock said in a statement. "Every day at Archer, we’re working to build the future, and we have never felt closer than we did introducing the world to Maker."

Goldstein hopes Maker will eventually introduce "our largest cities to the next generation of safe, sustainable travel."

Archer plans to go public at a valuation of $3.8 billion once it merges with Atlas Crest Investment Corporation with backing from United Airlines.

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The aviation company is in the process of certifying its four-passenger aircraft for the 2024 commercial launch with the Federal Aviation Administration, according to Reuters.

"The FAA can certify new technologies such as eVTOLs through its existing regulations. We may issue special conditions or additional requirements, depending on the type of project," the agency told the outlet.