Flying cabs without a pilot are one answer to the traffic chaos in congested cities. According to experts, a tough competition is about to become a reality in this market. The reason is that it is not only risk-taking start-ups that are getting involved here. Companies like Airbus and Siemens are also involved, as are Audi and the taxi operator Uber. They are investing a lot of money because they see a turnover potential of several hundred billion euros in this market. This is shown by the study “MIND-SHIFT: A Compendium on Future Mobility, Circularity and New Urbanism“, which the media monitoring company pressrelations carried out in spring 2022 using FirstSignals®, an early detection method. The development of mobility was analysed on the basis of reporting in the most important German- and English-language leading media.
Flying taxis are oversized electrically powered drones that do not have a camera attached for aerial photography, but a cabin with space for two to four people, depending on the manufacturer and their concept. That’s where the protagonists differentiate. When it comes to assessing the future potential, however, they are of the same opinion and agree that these are not overgrown toys. What can be seen so far are mature, futuristic flying machines that are to be used primarily in inner-city areas. This is because the problem of short ranges, familiar from electric cars, applies in the same way to electric air taxis. At present, 30 kilometres are considered feasible without any problems. In many cities, this corresponds to the distance from the city centre to the airport.
For Dr Hans Hamer, CEO of SHIFT Mobility, the study “MIND SHIFT” is a seismograph for the coming trends in mobility. Airtaxis in various shapes and sizes will make an important contribution to solving mobility problems in large urban areas.