Volocopter has presented its vision for an air taxi infrastructure for cities.
The vision integrates air taxis into existing transportation systems and provides additional mobility for up to 10,000 passengers per day.
Volocopters are emission-free, electrically powered aircraft that take off and land vertically offering a high degree of safety based on full redundancy in all critical systems. They are based on drone technology and scaled up to carry two people, initially for distances of 27km.
“Our ambitions do not end with developing the aircraft,” said Florian Reuter, CEO at Volocopter. “We are here to develop the entire ecosystem making air taxi services a reality across the world. This includes the physical and digital infrastructure to manage unmanned systems.”
Volocopter’s concept consists of Volo-Hubs and Volo-Ports. The Volo-Hubs resemble cable cart stations with Volocopters landing and taking off every 30 seconds, for example.
Once landed the Volocopter is moved inside the Volo-Hub. Passengers alight the aircraft protected from wind and weather.
Battery packs will be swapped automatically in a protected area by robots before moving on to the section where passengers embark for take-off.
Volo-Hubs are the key to substantially increase the capacity of any Volocopter system. Aside from protected deboarding and embarking, they offer sufficient space to park all Volocopters in operation and provide the infrastructure for charging and maintenance.
“We expect any air taxi transport system to begin with a point-to-point connection and over time grow into a system of dozens of Volo-Hubs in a city,” said Alex Zosel, co-founder of Volocopter.
“Once operated at scale, flying won’t be significantly more expensive than taking a cab, but it will be significantly faster.”