Air taxis are taking off. Cities should start planning now.

It may seem straight out of “The Jetsons,” but air taxis are expected to take off in urban areas as early as next year, and a new report looks at ways local leaders can prepare for them.

To help cities plan for electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, or what are called eVTOLs, researchers at the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University have developed a geographic information system, or GIS-based framework for finding the best place for eVTOL aircraft and the ground hubs, or vertiports, they need for passenger boarding, aircraft maintenance and charging as well as takeoff and landing.

eVOTLs are on-demand vehicles that can move people and cargo at low altitudes (60 miles or less) and cruising speeds of 150 mph. Researchers envision them initially being used for transporting medical devices, prescriptions and even patients, which will help expand the logistical support for a statewide approach.