Rising on its hydrofoils while scooting above the surface of the River Seine in Paris, new tests of the SeaBubbles ‘flying taxi’ have shown they can be effective in city river traffic.
The boats had previously been tested on the Seine with mayor Anne Hidalgo on board but river regulations meant speeds were limited to just 12-18kph and would not allow proper functioning that did not start until 50kph.
Now a new version that needs just 12kph to rise on the wing-like hydrofoils has been developed by SeaBubbles creator Alain Thébault and he used several to test how they travelled in traffic and against the current of flowing water.
The SeaBubbles have already been tested in Lyon on the River Saône off the Confluence and proved capable in the middle of both rivers’ heavy freight traffic and the bateaux mouches.
Tests in Saint-Tropez and on Lake Geneva showed them off to prospective deep-pocketed buyers and the new model is all but ready for production.
French insurance group Maif put €10million of funding into the electric boats which when working give no noise, no pollution and no wake, which makes them ideal for an Uber-like river taxi or yacht tender service round the world.