As a pioneer for urban air mobility, the Baden-based air taxi manufacturer Volocopter performed the first-ever manned vertical flight of a purely electric multicopter nine years ago. Since then, the company has continuously worked on the concept for electrically powered multicopters. The vision: the use of autonomous air taxis in megacities.
What was once considered a science fiction concept is now becoming a reality with developments like Volocopter. With VoloCity – an autonomous, electric, vertically taking off and landing aircraft – the dream of an air taxi service seems within reach. The VoloCity has recently championed several public flights: for instance, in Dubai, at the CES in Las Vegas 2018 and a test flight in Singapore in the autumn of last year. The VoloCity flew over the port of Marina Bay for a minute – albeit with pilots and no passengers. Commercial testing in the Asian megacity is scheduled to begin next year, making Singapore the first country in the world to allow the use of air taxis.
From air taxi to cargo drone
In October 2019, Volocopter also presented a model of its heavy-lift cargo drone VoloDrone: an equally electirc cargo drone that is based on the Volocopter’s technical platform and design. It is currently being developed to specifically fulfill demanding and difficult transport tasks in the various application areas of industry. It can fly a predetermined route both remotely and automatically. With a range of 40 km, applications in agriculture, in public supply and also in logistics are conceivable.
VoloDrones as part of supply chains
As the world’s leading logistics service provider, DB Schenker is convinced of this vision and is now joining the company as an investor alongside other companies: “DB Schenker is already testing autonomous and electrically powered vehicles in various innovation projects and also in actual operation. By integrating the VoloDrone into our future supply chains, we can serve our customers’ requests for fast, emission-neutral delivery even in hard-to-reach places. We are excited to be part of this innovation boost in a fantastic team, ”says Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker.
“#Cargo drones could be a reality in five years: DB #Schenker is investing in #Volocopter“Tweet WhatsApp
The financing should not only serve to implement a second generation of the VoloDrone, which is to be ready for the market in less than five years, but also to certify the VoloCity and to hire additional industry experts. DB Schenker is thus investing in a future in which air taxis and cargo drones are no longer just science fiction concepts but soon reality.