The forecast for passenger drones is sky high

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EHANG 184 AAV Manned Flight Test by EHANG CEO Mr. Hu Huazhi

A new forecast for passenger drones and the eVTOL aircraft market predicts dramatic growth over the next 10 years.

According to the new market research report from MarketsandMarkets on the “eVTOL Aircraft Market … Global Forecast to 2030”, the eVTOL aircraft market is projected to grow from USD 162 million in 2025 to USD 411 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 20.42% from 2025 to 2030.

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Airbus’ new eVTOL that aims to usher in an era of flying taxis just took its first public flight – take a look at CityAirbus

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Airbus’ CityAirbus eVTOL aircraft. Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/picture alliance/Getty

CityAirbus is the new eVTOL being developed by Airbus’ helicopter division that aims to set the stage for a new era of intra-city travel with flying taxis.

The futuristic-looking demonstrator can carry four passengers with a range of 60 miles, traveling at 75 miles per hour.

Airbus demonstrated the eVTOL in public for the first time on July 20 during a visit by a German politician to the facility in Bavaria.

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How close is urban air mobility to becoming a reality?

 

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eVTOL vehicle

So far, Uber is sticking publicly to its stated goal of beginning limited aerial ridesharing service in its pilot cities by 2023. And at least one of its vehicle partners, Joby Aviation, remains committed to certifying and operating its electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) air taxi by 2023.

The U.S. Air Force’s Agility Prime program, which is intended to help accelerate the certification of commercial eVTOL vehicles by providing access to testing resources and a government early-adopter market, is likewise targeting the fielding of a “small handful” of vehicles in 2023.

Uber planned to conduct flight tests on an experimental vehicle over a U.S. city later in 2020 but has not provided an update on whether the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted these plans. These flights, of a piloted vehicle without passengers, are intended to demonstrate the low noise of eVTOL vehicles, which is critical to achieving the public acceptance needed to begin commercial service.

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The dream of flying taxis may not be too far off

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Then again, Henry Ford said the same thing in 1940.

“Mark my words. A combination of airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile. But it will come,” Henry Ford quipped in 1940. Our dreams of cars capable of taking flight at the whim of their driver have been around nearly as long as we’ve had cars themselves, or at least as long as we’ve endured heavy commute traffic. Yet the prospect of actual, commercially available flying automobiles has always seemed to remain just out of reach, only a few years from viability. But even as drones become commonplace, are we really any closer to an age of aeronautical automobiles than we were in Ford’s day?

What even is a flying car? Designs have run the gamut from the AVE Mizar (basically a Ford Pinto with wings, to VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) designs like the Piasecki VZ-8 Airgeep. Even today, you’ve got roadable aircraft like the Terrafugia Transition, though these are quickly being pushed into the periphery in favor of VTOLs like the Bell Nexus being developed for Uber Elevate. That is, modern designs generally focus on serving as personal aircraft, rather than automobiles that can also fly.

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Uber will test its flying taxis in Melbourne

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The company has chosen Melbourne as its third test city.

 

Uber has chosen the third test city to join Dallas and Los Angeles for its flying taxi trials: Melbourne, Australia. The third location was supposed to be Dubai, but negotiations fell through and prompted the company to look for another site for trials outside the US. Uber considered Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paris, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Tokyo and Sydney. In the end, Melbourne won.

Susan Anderson, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Australia, New Zealand and North Asia, told Reuters that it’s because the Australian government “adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology.” Melbourne, in particular, has a “unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology” that make it perfect for the trials.

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Uber begins talks with Indian government to push for flying taxis

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Ride-hailing firm Uber has begun talks with the government to usher in a regulatory framework for flying taxis in the country, a top company executive told ET.

Uber has begun talks with the Indian government to push for flying taxis. Ride-hailing firm Uber has begun talks with the government to usher in a regulatory framework for flying taxis in the country.

Over the last one year, the San Francisco-based company has held conversations with regulators in India and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Nikhil Goel, head of product, aviation at Uber, in an interaction with ET on the sidelines of an Uber Elevate event here.

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This startup is planning a flying taxi service that costs about the same as normal taxis

Munich-based startup Lilium unveiled its five-seater electric air taxi prototype on Thursday. The Lilium Jet, which conducted its first flight earlier this month, is part of an app-based flying taxi service that the company expects will be “fully-operational in various cities around the world by 2025.”

The battery-powered jet is capable of traveling 300 kilometers (186 miles) in 60 minutes on a single charge, and will connect cities through a network of landing pads. Commuters will be able to book rides from their nearest landing pad through a smartphone app.

Lilium did not reveal how much its service will cost, but claims that it will be “comparable in price” with regular taxis. Remo Gerber, the company’s chief commercial officer, told CNN Business that it is aimed at ordinary people and not just well-heeled business travelers.

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12 awesome flying cars and taxis currently in development

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These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

We were promised that the future would bring flying cars, right? We were. And the good news is that tech entrepreneurs around the world are finally getting started on creating what are commonly known as VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing, pronounced vee-toll) vehicles designed at car size.

Of course, no one is ready for flying cars quite yet. There’s no infrastructure to support them, and a whole new set of auto laws would have to be drawn up to regulate them (like personal drones, but a thousand times worse). The first commercial VTOLs we will see won’t be hanging out at the local auto dealer—they’ll be taxi services built to shuttle people from part of a city to another.

Here’s all the current projects that want to put you in the seat of a flying car.

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Boeing’s flying car has taken off

Boeing’s Driverless Flying Taxi Completes Test Flight.

A Boeing Co. flying car designed to whisk passengers over congested city streets and dodge skyscrapers completed its first test flight on Tuesday, offering a peek into the future of urban transportation the aerospace giant and others are seeking to shape.

A prototype of its autonomous passenger air vehicle completed a controlled takeoff, hover and landing during the test conducted in Manassas, Virginia, the maker of military and commercial jets said in a statement Wednesday. Propelled by electricity, the model is designed for fully autonomous flight, with a range of as much as 50 miles, Boeing said.

The Chicago-based plane maker and arch rival Airbus SE are among a slew of companies racing to stake a claim on flying cars and parcel-hauling drones, which have the potential to be the next disruption to sweep the aerospace industry. Boeing’s push was boosted by a 2017 acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences, whose projects include a new flying taxi it is developing with Uber Technologies Inc.

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Flying cars could take off as soon as 2023

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The Bell Nexus hybrid electric air taxi concept is on display at the Bell booth at CES International

From a one-person flying car to a luxurious five seater, companies are racing to launch the first flying car.

LAS VEGAS — While CES attendees are still quite a few years away from being able to hop in a flying car and travel to the annual technology show, several concepts displayed at the 2019 event this week provided a glimpse of what the future could look like.

That starts with hailing an Uber copter — possibly as soon as the mid 2020s. At CES, Textron’s Bell division, a partner in the Uber Elevate flying car initiative, showed off its new air taxi concept called the Nexus.

While it may fly, make no mistake, the Nexus looks more like a car than an airplane. The concept uses six tilted fans to aid in takeoffs and landings, which are powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system. Inside the vehicle, four passengers and a pilot can see their flight path projected onto a screen.

Uber has said it’s planning to roll out its air vehicles by 2023 in certain cities, targeting the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Los Angeles as its first domestic markets.

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Flying taxis help business travellers escape the gridlock

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A number of innovative small business aircraft are on the drawing board, but the future of these projects depends on investors and their propensity for risk

We’re on the cusp of the genesis of a new category of business travel, the ultra-short-haul market. Urban congestion is driving innovators to reach for the stars or at least as high as the layer of underutilised airspace sandwiched between the rooftops and the altitude beneath commercial airline traffic.

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A billion aircraft: the future of drones

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If US futurist Thomas Frey is right, in only 12 years drones will be as ubiquitous as cars. Frey says there will be 1 billion drones in use around the world by 2030. What exotic new roles will these combinations of computing, robotics and aerodynamics play in society? Here are a few exciting new ways drones are currently redefining aviation and its purpose.

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