Floating cars could become the new taxis of Paris

18th February, 2016
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 the riverside.

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.

Image: Alain Thebault/Twitter