With battery-electric vehicles taking over the roads, it makes sense that humanity looks to electrify air transport next. Bringing that prospect closer is Volocopter, an urban air mobility startup that is teaming up with Urban Movement Labs.
The two companies will soon send air taxis that run on electricity into the sky in Los Angeles.
Volocopter is a German company with more than 400 employees and is active in three cities. It has backing from Daimler and other deep pockets companies. Its research & development work is based in its headquarters in Bruschel, Germany, where it runs three test sites.
By teaming up with Urban Movement Labs, Volocopter is bringing its eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) tech to the US, with a marketing campaign planned for this fall. The company will reveal its plans to the public at the CoMotion 2021 event that is taking place in Los Angeles from November 16th to 18th.
Naturally, Volocopter’s campaign will take off in Los Angeles, where Urban Movement Labs is based. The latter company is involved in innovations in the mobility industry. It seeks to solve transportation problems in the city by bringing together the government, businesses, and citizens.
Part of what the team will accomplish is creating a framework within which urban air mobility will operate in the city.
The output of the joint effort will be shared with other cities to expand the reach of Volocopter’s eVTOL technology in the US market.
The framework will address the safety, sustainability, and equitability of urban air mobility in the city of Los Angeles. This framework is coming as Volocopter works toward launching its urban air mobility services within the next two to three years. It will go ahead after getting final approval from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. Volocopter, however, still needs to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate in the US.
CCO of Volocopter, Christian Bauer, said about his company’s collaboration with Urban Movement Labs, “Our partnership with Urban Movement Labs is a great entryway into the US with our innovative UAM services. By leading the conversation about urban air mobility with broad stakeholders in Los Angeles, Volocopter can strategically identify and address how our services can benefit cities in the country. More importantly, we are also gaining real insights into living transportation ecosystems in the US to build the best complimentary service to other modes of transportation for our future passengers.”
Sam Morrissey, executive director at Urban Movement Labs, commented, “We are executing a community-first strategy to engage with community-based organizations and inform a policy framework that will guide the development of UAM infrastructure in the City of Los Angeles. Through our partnership with Volocopter, we can explore specific pilot projects to advance a future UAM network that reflects what we hear from Angelenos and establishes standards for future UAM operation.”
Volocopter’s family of aircraft for urban air mobility services include the VoloCity air taxi for short intracity passenger routes, the VoloDrone for heavy-lift goods transport, and the VoloConnect for longer passenger routes between suburban communities and downtown. The company is also developing physical and digital infrastructures (VoloPort and VoloIQ) to complement this robust, multipurpose aircraft portfolio and create scalable urban air mobility ecosystems in cities.
According to Volocopter’s website, urban air mobility is a subcategory of advanced air mobility (AAM) that focuses on how advanced aircraft operate in and around cities. Volocopter is developing its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to provide commercial transportation services for passengers and goods – 100% electric and emission-free in flight. Furthermore, this mobility service will be positioned to support existing transport options, introduce new local employment opportunities, and provide point-to-point connections at costs similar to current taxi fares.