urban movement labs

Air taxis traveling 150 mph and quietly ferrying passengers up to 60 miles over the sunny skies of Los Angeles could become a reality in three years.

Palo Alto-based Archer Aviation, which is developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft vehicles, announced Tuesday it would launch its first transportation network here by 2024 in collaboration with the city's Urban Movement Labs, which is also working with other companies to develop delivery robots and drones.

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On a recent crisp winter morning outside an empty office park in the San Fernando Valley, there were no workers to be seen. That is unless one counts the cooler-sized delivery robot slowly whirring down the sidewalk as Felipe Chavez, founder and CEO of Kiwibot, nervously watched to make sure the droid did not veer of course.

Just as no one now thinks twice about seeing e-scooters that were non-existent before late 2017, the sight of a robot ferrying salads, pizza, or groceries could become common on Los Angeles sidewalks before this year is over.

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Los Angeles residents could be receiving their Postmates order or prescription drugs from CVS via drone as soon as 2023, under a new initiative introduced Wednesday by the city's Mayor Eric Garcetti.

"Los Angeles is where we turn today's ideas into tomorrow's reality — a place where a barrier-breaking concept like urban air mobility can truly get off the ground," Garcetti said in a statement. "The Urban Air Mobility Partnership will make our city a force for cleaner skies, safer transportation, expanded prosperity, and stunning innovation and provide a template for how other local governments can take this new technology to even greater heights."

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