Urban Air Mobility will become a reality by the middle of the decade
Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is a system that enables on-demand, highly-automated, passenger or cargo-carrying air transportation services within and around a metropolitan environment.
A Morgan Stanley blue paper estimates that the global UAM addressable market would reach US$1.5 trillion by 2040
Many start-ups are planning to “take-off” by 2025:
- In April 2023, Japanese-based eVTOL maker, SkyDrive, announced it has received its first order from a private party of its SD-05 two-seat eVTOL
- In March 2023, Joby Aviation announced that it has begun final assembly of its first ‘company-conforming’ all-electric, passenger-carrying eVTOL
- Lilium’s electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft is scheduled to launch and operate from 2025.
- Bell Helicopterairtaxis are projected to take flight in Singapore in 2025 and
- Volocopter is looking to launchairtaxi demonstration flights
This report captures the business models, technological innovation and emerging opportunities in Urban Air Mobility, from drones to flying taxis.
A new ecosystem is in development that spans across aviation giants, automotive players and new start-ups
Collaboration of Audi-Italdesign-Airbus to build multi-modal vehicle
Hyundai has entered the flying car race with new urban aviation unit covering services such as drone deliveries andautonomous air taxis
Geely invested $55 million in Volocopter in Q4 2019.
Porsche and Boeing to explore premium urban air mobility sector
Toyota invest $394 million in Joby Aviation in Q1 2020.
Munich-based air taxi startup Lilium raising $240 million in Mar’20 led by China’s Tencent. Their electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft is scheduled to launch and operate from 2025.
There are 4 types of strategies that urban air mobility players are developing
- For airlines and aviation players, Urban Air Mobility can become an extension to existing air services by offering seamless “last 50-km” flight connection to the passengers’ homes.
- UAM players and aviation players are collaborating with local governments for UAM pilots.
- Carmakers are collaborating or investing in Urban Air Mobility start-ups
- Startups collaborating with aviation players for UAM development and technology exchange
- UAM players are integrating vertiports, showrooms, robotaxis to develop complete solution for future urban air mobility
The U.S is in a unique position to develop a strong Air Mobility Hub
The United States of America holds strong potential to be a leading region in the race of Vertical Mobility. The USA has one of the highest number of players who are directly and indirectly involved in Urban Air Mobility.
NASA and the FAA are working with private-sector companies to determine the right regulatory processes and technical standards for a class of air vehicles that will be help full to overcome ground traffic and sets flying vehicle standards.
Uber Elevate is collaborating with startup’s to bring vertical mobility at around 2023 in the USA.
But technological challenges in batteries, eVTOL need to be resolved
Cost of development, electric charging infrastructure, safety legislation, noise and public acceptance are some of the major challenges for Urban Air Mobility today.
Improving battery technologies could lead to lower battery weight, longer battery life and cheaper battery prices, which would directly boost operating results. a reduction in battery charging time would lead to higher asset utilization
And regulation needs to open the road for pilots and real deployment
Regulations and airspace management are crucial things for unlocking the potential of this market. In 2018, the EU Aviation Safety Agency initiated the work to develop the first component of the regulatory framework to enable the safe operation of air taxi and electric VTOL aircraft in Europe.
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