Another automaker has announced that it is entering a market for flying cars that does not yet exist: Volkswagen said on Tuesday that vertical mobility opportunities in China are being explored. The company also announced that a passenger aircraft drone will also be developed. The flying car may be the next big throw in traffic, but it hardly exists yet: it has been experimented with for years, but it probably takes enough time to come up with solutions that can actually be used.
This does not deter carmakers from preparing with steam power for these times: Hyundai announced in January that it plans to launch flying taxis, and Porsche, Daimler and Toyota have invested in startups that also deal with air taxis and aircraft development. . Intel, Daimler and Airbus are also interested in flying cars. The main problem so far is not the inability to develop a regular flying car (several have already done so), but the issue of air crushing and regulation, if resolved, could grow to $ 1.5 trillion by 2040, Morgan Stanley estimates yourself. No wonder carmakers are already preparing to launch: the German carmaker Lilium established the first airport optimized for this purpose in Orlando last year, and the first car airport near Coventry in England will be completed by 2021 (Lilium’s transport hub is scheduled for 2025). will be handed over).
For the time being, the preparations are still great, but air taxis will be tested in practice from 2022: the service is planned to start in Dubai next year. Toyota announced last January that it would invest $ 394 million in Joby Aviation in Silicon Valley, and the company plans to launch flying electric taxis by 2023. In Japan, flying cars could start as early as 2023.
In addition to regulatory uncertainties, the issue of security is also a major issue: flying taxis are expected to free big cities from congestion, provide a green alternative and, in general, revolutionize all transport, and in addition to the obvious dangers, prepare for possible hacker attacks. industry. There is also the question of how big this transport revolution will actually be: as Dominic Perry, deputy editor-in-chief of the aviation magazine Flight International, pointed out, helicopters have been around for some time, yet helicoptering remains a privilege for the rich. Porsche and Daimler have already positioned themselves for premium flying cars, but according to Perry, if the service falls into the same price range as a helicopter, flying cars will not be as ordinary as it was imagined at the Jetsons at the time.