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Could a mini-hovercraft be the new Paris taxi?


A small hovercraft, tiny cousin of the ones used as Channel ferries, is being proposed as a way to turn the Seine into a highway and move pollution and congestion off Paris streets.

Alain Thébault, a long-time inventor and sailing enthusiast, is developing the "SeaBubble," powered by two electric motors and designed to float about 2 feet above the water surface, stabilized by four wing-like projections. It would operate at about 11 miles per hour.

In his view, it would initially have a driver but would eventually be driverless, like a Google car. Paris taxi drivers may have a word to say about that. ThÉbault says he has been in touch with Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and has had calls from both carmaker Renault and Uber.

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