Paris will be one of the first cities in the world to test
out the SeaBubble, currently in development – a floating vehicle designed to
quickly transport people over water.
Invented by Alain Thebault, who also previously devised the
Hydroptere, a trimaran which can reach speeds of up to 50 knots, the SeaBubble
also appears to float above the water, though its speeds would be set to Paris’
city limits of 18kph.
Though there is also competition from San Francisco, the
Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has expressed her desire for the city to be the
first in the world to trial the vehicles. Currently, a prototype is still under
construction, though the first trial is expected to go ahead in June, ahead of
possible commercialisation in 2017.
The SeaBubble’s design currently ensures that it can lift
itself quickly up out of the water, using four foils in order to minimise water
displacement and waves along the bank. Eventually, Thebault hopes to make the
vehicles self-piloting, as well as able to be called autonomously when needed,
though he is currently working on making the craft easy to enter and exit from
It is hoped that the SeaBubble can act as a new unique mode of
transport for Paris, either as a taxi or as a car hire service.
If the SeaBubble comes to fruition, it could be another
excellent reason to visit Paris on a day-trip during a stay at our luxury gites
in France – a signature mode of transport to rival London’s red buses.