When Rick Deckard, hero of the 1982 science-fiction film Blade Runner, gazes down at a futuristic Los Angeles from a flying police car, a Pan Am sign shines on one of the towers. It is a nod to the helicopter service from the old Pan Am airline building in Manhattan to the John F. Kennedy airport that closed down in 1977 after a fatal accident.
Urban mobility is going back to the future. An executive of Uber - which wants to operate flying taxis by 2023 - this week promised that the "ever elusive flying car" is almost here. He was speaking at a conference for its Elevate division, where details of its new 30-minute Uber Copter service from Manhattan to JFK were announced.