A3, the Silicon Valley unit of aerospace firm Airbus, claims it strives to create projects that are "built on rigorous analysis, novel insights and a commitment to unreasonable goals."
We never would call an on-demand helicopter service unreasonable — more like unnecessarily awesome — but since A3 has already launched one, we’re not going to quibble.
Currently operating in São Paulo, Brazil, Voom is the aerial equivalent of a private car service, allowing users to book rides from one helipad to another using an app. Offering rides that can cut trips that would take three hours down to 15 minutes, Voom allows users to reserve their spot seven days to 60 minutes before departure.
Voom (2 images)
While Voom does the bookings, it does not provide the pilots for the helicopters. Instead, it serves as a middleman between passengers and fully-licensed operators who’ve been certified in Brazil.
With more than 400 available helipads and 700 on-demand Airbus-built choppers, Voom rides typically cost five times more than a cab and usually transports three to five passengers at a time. While still billed as “more of an executive product,” Voom has had enough success that it plans to expand to other cities like Mexico City, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Jakarta, Manila and Los Angeles.
Added bonus: no surge pricing, yet.