The next decade is forecast to be the greatest period of urban migration in human history. By 2030, more than 60 % of the world’s population will live in cities. Ground infrastructure, which is already operating at full capacity in many areas, is struggling to keep up with this urban growth. We believe that one answer to the challenges of urbanization is to take to the sky and unleash air travel in urban environments as a viable alternative to ground transportation.
In this article we will make a case for why we at Volocopter believe that we are on the cusp of a technological revolution enabling urban air mobility (UAM) at scale. We will focus on the requirements for the urban air taxi mission and discuss how we specifically designed the Volocopter, our electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, with this mission in mind.
It is important to note that, in this discussion, we will focus on the intra-city transportation use case: flying passengers within cities, where the greatest pain points will be alleviated. We will not be addressing the requirements for high-speed regional shuttles, which will ferry passengers between metropolitan regions.
Before diving in, we want to reflect on the renaissance underway in electric propulsion, the technology that will unlock urban air mobility.
The concept of electric propulsion in aviation is nearly as old as aviation itself. The first electric-powered aircraft debuted in 1917 (the tethered PKZ-1) and electric aviation has been a hobbyist’s alternative in the interim years. Now, with the advancements in multirotor distributed electric propulsion systems and the sophisticated controls to manage them, electric propulsion has finally become a viable alternative to hydrocarbon-based systems.
The mission of the urban air taxi is to transport passengers and luggage from point A to B within a defined urban metropolitan area at a price that is competitive with alternative transportation modes.
In order to accomplish this mission, an eVTOL will need to at least address the requirements in the non-exhaustive list below.
We will address each of these requirements in detail below and elaborate on how Volocopter addresses them in its development of a viable urban air taxi product.
Volocopter has partnered with Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education to launch a VoloCity public exhibition.
The sophisticated VoloIQ digital platform is set to harmonize Volocopter's operations and bring its UAM ecosystem to life.
Volocopter announced that their fixed-winged passenger aircraft, the VoloConnect, completed its first flight in May 2022.
Volocopter ensures safety throughout their urban air mobility ecosystem. But why do we need to manage safety?
Volocopter and Microsoft will develop an aerospace cloud system in that will address the nascent cloud computing requirements for urban air mobility.
Volocopter has been working to keep airborne noise emissions, a major hurdle to launching a commercial urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem, to a minimum.
On 21 March 2022, Volocopter became a two-time pioneer as the first eVTOL developer to conduct both crewed and remotely piloted test flights in France.
Volocopter has raised USD 170 million in the initial signing of its Series E funding round led by South Korean investor WP Investment.
Volocopter's partnership with DB Schenker on the delivery of VoloDrone is set to revolutionize logistics, unlocking full application potential.
Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore’s centrepiece for the aerospace sector has been identified as a future Advanced Air Mobility hub.
Volocopter and Aviation Capital Group have entered into an agreement to develop financing solutions to assist with the sale of Volocopter’s eVTOL aircraft.
Volocopter has unveiled a comprehensive VoloPort handbook for the physical infrastructure supporting eVTOL aircraft operations.
Volocopter Kakao Mobility have inked a memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study on introducing UAM in South Korea.
Volocopter, has completed the first crewed public test flight with its 2X eVTOL aircraft in Seoul, South Korea.
Volocopter, Atlantia and Aeroporti di Roma have announced their partnership today to bring electric air taxis to Rome.
Volocopter, has joined the Osaka Roundtable, an institution eager to bring UAM to one of the busiest cities in Asia.
Volocopter’s electric heavy-lift drone VoloDrone conducted its first public flight today at ITS World Congress 2021.
Volocopter and Aerofugia, a subsidiary of China’s Geely Technology Group, announced the finalization of their joint venture company.
Volocopter has partnered with Los Angeles-based Urban Movement Labs to explore the application of Volocopter’s UAM solutions in the Los Angeles area.
Malaysia Airports has announced that it has signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Skyports and Volocopter.
Volocopter announced today that it has secured Production Organisation Approval (POA) in compliance with the EASA.
Volocopter flew their Volocopter 2X electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft at Le Bourget Airfield during the Paris Air Forum.
Near Earth Autonomy and Volocopter’s will test Near Earth Autonomy’s autonomous flight technology on Volocopter’s VoloDrone aircraft.
Volocopter and Geely Technology Group presented the 2X for the first time in China at Geely’s booth at Auto Shanghai 2021.
Volocopter has published “The Roadmap to Scalable Urban Air Mobility” outlining what is needed to operate a full ecosystem enabling urban air mobility.
Urban air mobility pioneer Volocopter announced the signing of their Series D funding round today, raising €200 million in additional capital.
Volocopter has announced that the FAA has positively accepted their application for concurrent Type Certificate validation on 22 December 2020.
Volocopter and ADAC Luftrettung announced today that ADAC Luftrettung has reserved two VoloCity electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
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