The notion of flying taxis and vertical mobility is attracting a crazy amount of hype within financial markets. Investment is up in the £billions and flowing into this young and fresh sector whose products haven’t actually taken off yet, excuse the pun!
What can we say about these Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles powered by electric? A recent study undertaken by the Porsche Consulting strategy consultancy gives an insight into the state of the tech and possible future business models. It went on to predict the role that air taxis can play in mobility of the future.
The assessment said VTOL vehicles massive potential to become a very attractive method of transportation over the next 15-20 years. Big parts of the population could then utilise them in the same way as today’s local taxis. However, air taxis alone won’t solve current and future problems associated with transport and traffic, because their market success and development are both associated with big hurdles and risks of both a commercial and technical nature.
With their incredible ability to serve a growing network of A to B connections, Porsche insist passenger drones are very much suitable for easing neuralgic pressure in urban settings.
The market for vertical mobility is estimated to reach around $32 billion by 2035, the company revelas. However, these figures will require an investment of at least $20 billion.
Prior to the 1st commercial routes being flown as of around 2025, the manufacturers of these VTOL alone will have to plough tens of billions of dollars into development.
Porsche believe at least 500k passengers each day will need to use air taxis for this sector to consume a relevant share of the market by 2035. That will require between 1,000 to 2,500 take-off & landing spots in up to 60 practical cities throughout the world.
Greg Grander, Partner at Porsche Consulting and writer of the study stated:
“Vertical mobility will prosper into a very lucrative niche travel area.
“However, if air taxis are to become reality for everyone, brave pioneers with sheer persistence, heavy financial reserves and a real sense of responsibility is vital. Safety and of course social acceptance will also play critical roles.”
Potential customers will utilise air taxis if the trips are convenient, reliable, safe and affordable. Vertical mobility can only become commercially relevant when significant numbers of the population start using it with a good network of routes is established.
Passenger drones can then become a prized addition to the mobility range, especially as a method of transport for urgent appointments, special occasions and emergencies.