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Innovation Update: Seabubbles – “Make our cities flow again”

PortandTerminal.com, September 19, 2019

Editor’s note

Back in May, we ran the article below profiling Seabubbles, an innovative start-up who’s vision is to ease the congestion in cities by taking advantage of waterways within them to get cars off of streets.

Since May, Seabubbles has only gone from strength-to-strength. This week they have launched a four-day test trial in Paris. Fingers crossed for the Seabubbles team on a launch next year!

PortandTerminal.com, May 6, 2019

“We believe that pollution and global gridlock are not only threatening our welfare but are ultimately threatening people’s freedom of mobility.”

Paris, France – The two founders behind Seabubbles are maritime adventurers and aeronautical engineers, the perfect combination for a start-up with as a grand a vision as Seabubbles – to help solve the urban congestion problem, or “Make our cities flow again“.

Video Credit: Seabubbles and Mashable

The Challenge

By 2050, there will be 3 billion cars on the streets of the world, a three-fold increase over today. Even if they are all powered by clean energies, the sheer number cars will still create massive problems with congestion and traffic jams.

Insight

Historically, cities have grown up along rivers, lakes and ocean shorelines because the waterways simply made it easier to get around, do business and get from A to B.

The team at Seabubbles believes that the future of urban mobility will rise again from the water, a natural, historic path in the cities that has been underrated for a long time.

Solution

Think James Bond car, available for everybody, but with zero wave, zero noise, zero CO2 emission.

The engineers at Seabubbles have developed electric water taxi and bus concepts that quickly scoot urban city dwellers around city waterways to help relieve road congestion.

Seabubbles Taxi

Concept visualization of Sea Bubbles taxi stand in central Paris

The Seabubbles taxi has been demonstrated in use including at the Miami Boat Show. The vehicle can carry four passengers plus a pilot and the Seabubbles is taking preorders now via its website. Production is set for 2019. Baja Ferries in the United States and a hotel chain in Paris have confirmed orders. Price per Seabubble taxi is reported to be $US 225,000.

The Flybus

The team’s second and most recently announced concept is the Flybus. Like the taxis, the Flybus is an electric, hydrofoil craft but is designed to carry up to 49 passengers. A working prototype is expected no sooner than 2020.


What’s next?

Three weeks ago French press announced that the two co-founders of Seabubbles had received and accepted a buy-out offer. The two co-founders who together own 65% of the company that they founded have agreed to sell their shares to a consortium of Swedish/Swiss and American investors. The founders, however, will remain at the head of the company they created according to reports in the French media.

Read More

CNN: Paris banks on river taxis to alleviate congestion

Le Monde: Seabubbles change de main et veut lancer un « flybus » dès 2020 (article in French)

Le Figaro: Les taxis volants de SeaBubbles vendus à des investisseurs étrangers (article in French)

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