The groundbreaking drone technology of Urban Air Mobility

Expectations toward urban air mobility vehicles are high. VTOL aircraft and personal air vehicles need to be safe and effective. That’s why the UAM industry relies on the best achievements of modern science and drone technology.

Last week, we talked about various companies investing in the development of the urban air mobility industry. Today, we are going to take a closer look at technological challenges needed to be passed to make the dream of UAM come true.

Technological challenges of urban air mobility vehicles

Constructing a functional vehicle capable for urban air mobility services is not an easy task. The aircraft designed for travel in the city landscape needs to fulfill plenty of requirements. The most important one is safety. Urban air mobility vehicles should provide reliable and secure construction, not only for passengers, but also for the surrounding. 

Moreover, such vehicles must be well fitted into the city landscape. As a replacement of traditional urban transportation, UAM vehicles need to be more comfortable than cars or buses. They should be dependable and easily available for everyone. Only that way, UAM will provide passengers with a solid and stable mode of transportation. Finally, urban air mobility vehicles like VTOL aircraft need to rely on a sustainable source of energy. 

How drone technologies can help UAM? 

Fulfilling the above requirements needs a lot of research and field tests of new vehicles. Thankfully, the UAM industry can rely on the achievements of drone technology. Inspirations drawn from the drone market can boost the development of urban air mobility vehicles.

Over the years, drones became lighter, quieter and more energy efficient. Drone technology came a long way from loud and clumsy devices to the current state of high-end remote aircraft. Such a breakthrough was able to achieve thanks to the utilization of light materials. That is why proper components are key to make urban air mobility vehicles a reliable mode of transport safe for the city landscape.

VTOL aircraft – next level of drone technology

As for today, urban air mobility vehicles still seem like a science fiction concept. However, not so long ago, drone technologies were perceived that way too. Few years ago, only scientists and military services were using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Today, drones are a common sight in our society. From moviemakers using them to catch a perfect shoot, to private enthusiasts of drone racing — drone technology became a natural part of our society.

Soon, such a shift may happen to urban air mobility vehicles. Many concepts in the UAM industry draw from military researchers. The best example is VTOL aircraft, which translates for “vertical take-off and landing” vehicle. This idea eliminates a need for space in the procedure of take-off and landing which makes it a perfect solution for urban air mobility vehicles.

Most of the UAM companies plan to utilize the idea of VTOL aircraft in the construction of personal air vehicles. With the aid of drone technology solutions, urban air mobility vehicles will soon become the most advanced mode of transport in the urban landscape.


Who is investing in the urban air mobility market?

A growing popularity of urban air mobility market has caused many companies to get interested in the idea of more sustainable city travels. Who are the most prominent investors in this brand-new industry?

UAM is still a new concept in the world of air transportation. The idea of urban air mobility is simple: to enable safe urban travels with personal air vehicles. But every high-tech industry needs some investors, who help increase its value on the global market. We have recently mentioned Volocopter, which is a good example of UAM precursor. Today look on some other prominent players in this brand-new urban air mobility market!

Airbus – an urban air mobility leader 

Despite some undeniable differences between UAM and traditional airplanes, both have a lot in common. No wonder that one of the most notable investors dedicated to personal air vehicle development is Airbus, which is also a leading aerospace company. Airbus urban air mobility branch is trying to turn dreams of flying cars into a reality.

The most promising project so far is CityAirbus. This vehicle will provide passengers with on-demand flight services. A four-seat personal air vehicle is going to be remotely controlled. Airbus urban air mobility division also pays a lot of attention to regulatory issues. Without proper legislation, UAM has not a chance to become fully implemented. And the support of an important player in the aviation industry is going to help urban air mobility market a lot.

Flying taxi with Uber Air 

But aviation industry isn’t the only one interested in the development of UAM solutions. Urban air mobility market is going to change the way how people travel in city areas. This is the reason why its development is also a crucial matter for companies specialized in traditional road transport. As for now, the most promising one is Uber Air, which is a part of the Uber Elevate project.

The famous ride-hailing company has already reshaped the character of city travel. Its on-demand services appeared to be a strong competition to traditional taxicabs. But Uber Air is going to take this revolution to a literally new level. The idea is very similar to Airbus urban air mobility concept. Uber Elevate largely focuses on the development of personal air vehicle for on-demand travels. But while Airbus takes advantage of its experience in the aviation industry, Uber Air is going to utilize well-checked ride-hailing solutions.

Urban air mobility market startups 

Both Uber Air and Airbus urban air mobility projects are still in the early stage of development. The airline mogul keeps working on new prototypes of personal aircraft and VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicles. Uber already offers on-demand travels with helicopters. But those two companies are not only players on the vastly developing urban air mobility market.

The idea of UAM is also a very attractive concept for startup. Increased interest in this industry has inspired creation of many new companies strictly dedicated to that goal. From Kitty Hawk, established by Google co-funder Larry Page, to Chinese-owned Terrafugia, the vision of flying cars is attracting visionaries from all over the globe. Despite some differences, all those companies share a common goal: to leverage urban air mobility market and make personal air vehicles a standard for urban travels.


UAM Profile: Volocopter

Volocopter is a German UAM manufacturer. Diamer AG, the owner of Mercedes cars, is a larger and influential investor the company. The company is based in Bruchsal, Germany. Geely, the Chinese owners of Volvo, recently in 2019 2019 also made a follow on investment in the company.

The company currently offers 3 products:

  • an uam flying taxi VoloCity
  • an aum landing port VoloPort
  • a heavy weight delivery drone (200kg) VoloDrone

Online at


Is personal air vehicle safe to travel in the city?

Air transportation is the safest and the most convenient way to travel in the modern world. As for now, it is mostly available for long-distance flights, but soon we will be able to use a personal air vehicle in urban areas.

In our previous article, we have talked about the very definition of urban air mobility. This brand-new concept is going to change the way of how human perceive air transportation in urban areas. Today, we take a closer look on safety measures of personal air vehicles. 

Personal air vehicle – the best drone for travel in the city

For now, whenever we think about air transportation, we picture a huge aircraft taking dozens of people on board. However, the concept of air travel is going to change soon, thanks to the introduction of personal air vehicles. This new type of aircraft is meant to be a new mode of transport in urban areas. Designated for on-demand air travels in cities, it is compatible with the idea of urban air mobility. 

A personal air vehicle is going to be a complete different from traditional airplanes. Due to its intended character, it will remind more a drone than a conventional aircraft. To fit the specific landscape of urban areas and become the best drone for travel in the city, such vehicle needs to be small, quiet and reliable. However, probably the most concerning issue for many people is the safety of flight.

Automated air transportation

In air transportation, there is no place for any mistakes. Even the smallest flaws might lead to a catastrophic disaster. In traditional flights, pilots are responsible for lives of dozens of people. Their job is to fly passengers safely to the destination. In the case of personal air vehicles, any inaccuracy in the flight trajectory may cause a chaos in a city. After all, we don’t want any aircraft crashing into a building. 

That’s why personal air vehicles are not going to by flying cars from the vision of science fiction movies and comic books. Driving a roadable aerial vehicle in urban landscape would be difficult even for the most experienced pilots. That is why urban air mobility aims to use the unmanned aerial aircraft to ensure the safety of both people inside the vehicle and the surrounding. The whole flight will be completely automated to reduce the risk of a potential mistake in the city air transportation.  

A safer city with an urban air mobility

Personal air vehicles are not only the best drones to travel. They are also a potential solution to make cities more sustainable and safer for local people. Today, urban reality is marked with traffic jams, road accidents and other unpleasant effects of car-oriented travel. By taking some part of the urban traffic up to the sky, we will be able to make our cities less crowded and safer.  

Of course, air transportation still needs to be properly adjusted to be a functional alternative as a city mode of transport. The urban air mobility industry still works on adjusting new technologies to make personal air vehicles the safest way to travel in cities. However, the most important goal on the road to introduce air transportation into the urban landscape is to earn people trust and convenience them to this new way of traveling.  

It might seem to be a great challenge to do so. The idea of urban air mobility still looks like science function concept for many of us. But some recent breakthroughs in this industry, alongside with an innovative approach of various brands and companies, shows that “flying cars” are closer than ever. Follow our blog to find out about them!

drone transport UAM

Urban Air Mobility – What do you need to know?

Have you ever dreamed about taking off to the sky instead of being stuck in the traffic jam? Urban air mobility is an innovative concept of air transportation which will make your dreams come true.  

In the modern world, air transportation is the most efficient way to travel. Currently, traditional airplanes remain the first choice for people who want to travel by air. However, the situation is going to change soon, thanks to the introduction of urban air mobility (UAM). What is it and how exactly will it influence the way people travel?   

Limitations of traditional air transportation

Before we move to urban air mobility itself, it is worth analyzing the current state of air transportation. Currently, most people traveling by plane must rely on airplanes. Despite being an irreplaceable element of our civilization, they have some noticeable flaws.  

The most notable problem with traditional air transportation lies in versatility. Main vehicles used for transporting passengers are airliners. Those airplanes are designed to carry a large number of people. Although airliners are extremely efficient way to travel for long distances, they need airports for the landing procedure.   

Another problem of air transportation is logistics. Airliners need an enormous amount of aviation fuel to take off to the sky. It makes air traveling the most expensive way to transport passengers. The environmental consequences of an intense air traffic are also an important factor. 

Urban air mobility – elegant transport for a more civilized age

While traditional air transportation is excellent for long-distance travels, urban air mobility’s goal is to make flying more suitable for a lower scale. UAM is utilizing technological progress to provide ground-breaking solutions for air travel. Vehicles designed that way are going to be lighter, safer and more precise, what will make them a perfect choice for urban landscape. 

It is worth to note that the idea of urban air mobility isn’t exactly new. Smaller and more versatile vehicles, like helicopters or light aircraft, are already in use as a more comprehensive way to travel by air. Unfortunately, such solutions are still rare and expensive. Because of those reasons, only a small percent of people can afford to travel that way. However, the versatility of helicopters and undeniable grace of private airplanes has contributed to the development of modern urban air mobility.  

Drone transport for urban areas

The main difference between UAM and traditional air transportation is the emphasis on making air travel suitable for urban areas. That’s why urban air mobility puts a high value on sustainable city development. Using drone transport to carry passengers creates plenty of opportunities. Implemented properly, it will decrease traffic and make urban environment safer than ever.  

Urban air mobility market is still growing, and new ideas are being introduced every year. Most of them focus on utilizing drone transport. It is the most convenient way to develop personal air vehicles suitable for carrying passengers in urban areas. Other implementations use traditional helicopters, to offer air taxi services.  

Urban air mobility designers are constantly looking for new ways to take city life up to the sky. Follow UAM blog to learn more about drone transport, personal air vehicles and other new developments in this fascinating industry!