SeaBubbles wants to be the Uber for waterborne transportation. Let’s take a closer look at the global situation. Ice caps are melting, water levels are rising, and gridlocked traffic is a pain. Most likely, pretty soon we will be forced to take to the open water to get around. Water taxi might be a worthwhile solution.
SeaBubbles is a startup that aims to revolutionize waterborne transportation, through fleets of sleek, hydrofoil-equipped shuttles designed to make city travel more convenient, leisurely, and sustainable. Founders Alain Thebault and Anders Bringdal, a sailor and windsurfer respectively, started the company seven months ago and quickly found success.
They have gained many prominent supporters. Backers include the founder of drone-maker Parrot, Partech Ventures, and the French government-backed BPI fund. Creators can also count on Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo for support. The founders hope to have a prototype to show off at next year’s CES.
SeaBubbles’ electric-powered shuttles will be made of fiberglass and high-density foam, with linen interiors. The device will be able to carry up to five passengers and a driver. The driverless bubble taxi that would ‘fly’ 2.5ft above the river. Founders are planning to add a self-driving system in the future. Specially designed docks would also serve as charging stations. The vessels will be hailed by a smartphone app like Uber, with whom the founders say they’ve spoken to about possibly partnering up.
The project faces enormous financial and regulatory challenges. Bringdal and Thebault have designed an electric-powered, silent, zero-emission vehicle and, while the product is still in its earliest stages, it has already received $500,000 in funding. SeaBubble has to build a working prototype, woo investors, convince city officials to allow them to operate in their waterways and build an app for passengers.
This transport solution’s creators are aiming to have over a dozen vessels in the River Seine in Paris by summer 2017. The plan is certainly ambitious. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed for the Earth’s benefit!