Air Taxi of the Future
In a move expected to change the way people travel, Volocopter, in August 2019, announced the launch of its first autonomous flying taxi, a futuristic fourth-generation aircraft featuring Electric Take-Off And Landing (eVTOL) technology and capable of flying at an average speed of 68 mph. Volocopter plans for its air taxi to be an on-demand, inter-city transport vehicle that can carry up to two passengers and their luggage. Volocopter plans to make this autonomous flying technology ubiquitous by 2023.
The increasing urban population has resulted in the development of mass transportation solutions, such as metros and faster rail and bus services. Passenger drones, currently in the development phase, are expected to be one of the main alternatives for mass transportation in the near future. Passenger drones can be piloted manually or flown autonomously and can take-off and land vertically, making it easier for use in cities.
Table 1 Recent Developments in Air Taxi Market
Source: Secondary Research
Figure 1 Need for Quick Intercity and Intracity Transportation Fueling the Growth of the Air Taxi Market
Source: MarketsandMarkets Analysis
Air taxis are expected to be commercially launched and operated from 2025. As per MarketsandMarkets , the Air Taxi Market is projected to grow to USD 10.7 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 11.7% between 2019 and 2030.
The major factor restraining the growth of the air taxi market is the complexity involved in receiving certification for operations. Regulatory authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (US) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (Germany) have set specific standards for civil aviation that must be met by manufacturers of air taxi aircraft while designing and developing aircraft. Manufacturers and operators are also required to obtain various certifications in order to produce and market the aircraft, which is time-consuming.
In addition to these restraints, the market is also challenged by the lack of social acceptance of air taxis due to safety concerns and the overall noise of these aircraft.
Cities around the world are facing transportation challenges due to the increasing traffic, which has increased the time spent by passengers on roads due to congestion. The development of air taxis is aimed at solving or reducing this congestion by providing quick mobility in urban areas. Air taxis hold a promising future where intracity commute times could be reduced substantially.
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