I REMEMBER the first time I was in a black hack.

It was with my gran and I felt like a princess being transported in an off-coloured golden chariot from Templeton’s to home. It was three miles of decadence. Gran had a lot of groceries, and I was too wee to help carry them. So we hailed a cab.

Ever since, I have regarded the whole travelling-by-taxi experience as something of a treat … a trip to the airport to head on holiday; a journey home after a fun night out; the means of escape after a long, late shift at the office.

I recall that I once over-embraced the latter experience. It was a bumper Saturday shift and by the time the paper had been put to bed, my brain was starting to shut down. On autopilot, I called a cab. As usual, the driver sang me a rendition of Roxanne by The Police (always a good start to a journey at midnight after a long day) and off we headed. Soon I’d be cosy in bed, I thought … then reached into my pocket for a hanky and found the car keys.

Oops. A distant memory started to unravel. Ahhh … I’d driven in to work that morning. The taxi mission home had to be aborted and we turned back and returned to the office, where I picked up the car and started my journey home all over again.

But how would such a U-turn work in the latest twist to taxi travel?

In time for the 2028 Olympics, Los Angeles is preparing to take cabbies to a whole new plane … literally.

This is Adam Goldstein’s pitch to the people of Los Angeles, asking them to embrace air taxis.

“Imagine avoiding that soul-crushing, hour-long slog — say from Santa Monica to downtown LA on a Tuesday morning. Instead, you hail a high-tech cab that will hop over the gridlock and get you there in nine minutes.

“These vehicles just unlock something that can completely change the way we live, the way we work,” said Goldstein, the 43-year-old chief executive of Archer Aviation in Palo Alto.

The promise of flying cars — for generations a Hollywood dream of a space-age future encapsulated in movies such as The Jetsons and Blade Runner — is finally becoming a reality. A Swedish company is already selling a single-passenger vehicle called Jetson 1.

Los Angeles transport officials are preparing for this new era and expect drone-like electric air taxis to be operational by the time the summer Olympics roll around, if not far sooner.

Companies are eyeing LA’s plethora of parking lots and sky-scraping rooftops for so-called vertiports as a gateway for the technology to take off internationally.

It’s a dizzying thought and a world away from trip home from Templeton’s with the groceries.

Quite how you hail an air taxi is yet to be confirmed.

Perhaps you just ask Alexa to sort it and they hover outside your door peeping loudly until you appear.

The big question is this, however. How long a trip does it take an air taxi driver to right the ills of the world?

Oh, and do they know all the words to Roxanne by The Police?