In recent years, Urban Air Mobility has developed into one of the most exciting technology drivers and innovation topics in aviation.
Catalyzed by the increasing urbanization and population density of metropolitan regions such as Los Angeles, Shanghai or London as well as eruptive developments in the field of electric drives, autonomous vehicle control, 5G communication networks and vehicle sharing services, new urban mobility concepts are emerging that incorporate the third dimension.
There are now more than 50 companies worldwide that are developing new electrically powered vehicles for urban air traffic. In addition to industry leaders such as Airbus and Boeing, new young companies such as Volocopter, Lilium, Kitty Hawk and Ehang are increasingly entering the market with their own designs.
It will be of strategic importance to find the suitable technology concept for the respective business model. For example, the safety, noise, emission and performance requirements for an urban air taxi with ranges of up to 50km differ significantly from those of a metropolitan region shuttle with ranges of up to 100km or aircraft for intercity flights up to 400km.
Other important factors for the successful introduction of air taxis are the appropriate infrastructure and the passenger experience. For example, suitable vertiports must be available in the cities to ensure integrated mobility with other transport services in the cities. Suitable routes and efficient air traffic management must be implemented in order to offer passengers a truly competitive connection in terms of costs and travel time. For this electromobility, sufficient charging ports must be available. Ultimately, passengers must want to take advantage of the offer, and factors such as safety, comfort, ticket prices and an integrated connection are of crucial importance.
Due to Vector's many years of experience and competence in the development and testing of safety-critical systems such as autonomous driver and pilot assistance systems, many innovation leaders in electric aircraft are already using test and development tools for this purpose.