Larry Page and Thrun had been thinking about electric flying taxis that could carry one or two people. Project Tiramisu, named after the dessert which means “lift me up” in Italian, involved a winged plane flying in circles, picking up passengers below using a long tether.
In SpaceX’s video that illustrates the idea, passengers take a large boat from a dock in New York City to a floating launchpad out in the water. There, they board the same rocket that Musk wants to use to send humans to Mars by 2024. But instead of heading off to another planet once they leave the Earth’s atmosphere, the ship separates and breaks off toward another city — Shanghai.
Meanwhile, on Earth: