Volocopter ‘Air Taxis’ Aim To Transform Urban Transport
The future of travel has been unveiled by Volocopter
German startup Volocopter is ready to show off its own vision for a fully formed urban “air taxi” system, coming to a city near you.
A few days ago, the company unveiled its vision for a network of rooftop “Volo-ports” where up to 1,000 passengers could board and disembark their own personal “flying taxi” every hour. That translates to 10,000 passengers per station per day. They will be equipped with conveyor belts, swappable battery packs and lifts to speed up transfer of passengers. This means aircraft are always fully charged and ready to go, according to the company.
The start-up’s ambitious plan is to create circular launchpads on the top floor of skyscrapers in cities from where the electric aircraft would take off and land. They would have a conveyor belt that would transport the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft into an indoor hanger. From there, they would moved to a garage where maintenance work can be carried out.
“It’s about mass transportation of people and how it can be done in a safe way and with what infrastructure,” Alexander Zosel, Volocopter’s co-founder and chief innovation officer, told The Verge.
Zosel said Volocopter hopes to have a prototype station in place sometime in the next year, but acknowledged it will take up to 10 years before a full, citywide system can be put in place. The cost of these elaborate stations would likely be spread out over a number of partners, including real estate groups, charging station operators, ride-hailing companies, and Volocopter itself.
The company has demonstrated the 2X’s flight capabilities in Germany, Dubai(where the company is most likely to first launch its aerial taxi service), and more recently at CES in Las Vegas, where it announced a partnership with Intel.