Air taxi — the most comfortable way to travel

Urban air mobility is a great opportunity to make city travels easier. Ait taxi is one of the most promising ideas related to this concept. How close we are to make flying taxis a real thing?

Who wouldn’t like to take an air taxi instead of sticking to the ground in a car? Urban air mobility (UAM) is the concept which enables air travels in the city landscape. Number of real-life implementations of the air taxi idea is growing every year. Let’s look how this fascinating concept works in practice, and how it can change our cities in the near future.

Air taxi – the future of the city transport

Nowadays, taxicabs are an integral part of every large city. They allow us to travel easily through urban areas without any concern. A taxicab is a perfect choice for those of us who prefer fast and reliable transport. It is also a last resort in some unexpected situations when we need immediate transport. Whenever we are late for a meeting or miss the bus, taxis are our salvation in a face of unexpected events.

The air taxi takes this idea one step further, by eliminating inconveniences of ground vehicles. By utilizing modern technologies, the urban air mobility industry aims to provide on-demand flying services in cities. Soon we will be able to call an unmanned personal aircraft to carry us on the other side of the city. Can you imagine a better way to avoid a traffic jam?

Precursors of the flying taxi 

Right now, flying taxis may seem like a science fiction concept. However, the number of real-life implementations of this idea is growing every year. Some of them, like Linear Air Taxi, have been operating since 2004. The company focuses on on-demand flies operated by light aircraft.

Another example is Uber Air, an on-demand flying service developed by a famous ride-hailing company, Uber. The idea of the initiative is to elevate city travels up to the sky. Right now, Uber Air offers on-demand flying services operated by helicopters on some limited routes. However, the company keeps working on their own personal air vehicles.

How to make air taxi available for everyone?

Uber Air, Linear Air Taxi and other similar projects lay the foundation for a further urban air mobility development. However, their services are still hard-to-reach for a large part of our society. The main cause of this situation lies in used vehicles. As for now, air taxi services rely on traditional aircraft. They are expensive to use, which translates for limited availability and high prices.

The best solution to resolve this problem is to replace traditional aircraft with more efficient personal air vehicles. Lighter, smaller and powered by electric motors, the air taxi of the future will be a mode of transport accessible for everyone. But how long will we have to wait to travel by modern urban air taxi?

We already have functional personal air vehicles, like VoloCity produced by Volocopter. Uber Air is aiming to launch their on-demand autonomous air taxi by 2023. All we need right now is proper legislation. Without appropriate regulations, urban air mobility service won’t be able to operate in the city air space. However, we are on the right path to achieve it.


7 ways how UAM will change city landscape

Air transportation solutions provided by the UAM industry are the key for making our cities better places to life. How exactly flying vehicles are going to change the city landscape?

Modern cities struggle with various issues resulting from their nature. Constantly growing number of cars leads to some severe problems. Annoying traffic jams, car accidents and air pollution can be avoided with UAM technologies. Are they going to be a standard solution for urban travels?

UAM – a new hope for modern cities

Today, over half of the people on Earth live in the urban areas. According to the UN, this number is going to grow up to 68% of the world’s population by 2050. Cities became our natural habitat. There are the centers of our economic and cultural lives. Through decades, our civilization has been working on making them the most suitable places for our kind. 

Despite that, today’s cities still struggle with some problems. One of the most important challenges is to provide a reliable mode of transport for the constantly growing population. Old vehicles, like cars or buses, cause some undesirable problems and are not efficient for modern cities. The best candidate to replace them is the UAM industry, capable of providing air transportation for urban areas. 

How will air transportation change the city landscape?

The idea of urban air mobility is an entirely new concept of air transportation. We still need some time before UAM becomes a standard in our cities. However, we may easily predict how flying vehicles will influence the urban environment. Here you have seven predicted consequences of the introduction of UAM solutions:

  • Limiting the number of cars in the cities in favor of unmanned on-demand flying vehicles 
  • Reduction of pollutions caused by car traffic 
  • Lowering the number of car accidents 
  • Raising the safety of pedestrian traffic  
  • Economic boost caused by the emergence of a new UAM industry 
  • Replacing traditional urban modes of transport with more efficient air transportation 
  • Reduction of noises caused by a traditional transport

Will flying vehicles replace private cars?

As you can see, urban air mobility is going to make the modern city a better place to live. But does the implementation of UAM mean that traditional cars are no longer needed? After all, we are aiming to replace them with a much more reliable air transportation. Does the city full of flying vehicles still have some place for a more “grounded” mode of transportation?

Of course, moving from cars to flying vehicles will take some time. As for now, UAM aircraft are still mostly prototypes. It gives people plenty of time to change their habits. And even with air transportation available in cities, there are still plenty of situations where traditional cars will be needed. Enthusiasts of traditional transport may rest easy, ensuring that they won’t be deprived of their favorite vehicles.


Will air transportation become a standard of urban travel?

Urban air mobility is a vastly developing market aiming to introduce air transportation in cities. It is only a matter of time while flying cars (or, to be more specific, personal air vehicles) will become available. But is this new mode of transportation going to be widely available for everyone?

Urban air mobility is still a new concept. It is a good moment to think about the future direction of this futuristic industry. How the implementation of air transportation is going to look like in the city landscape? Will flying cars and VTOL vehicles dominate the sky, and will we need pilot’s license to catch up with a new trend? Or maybe air transportation solutions are going to be reserved for public transport and urban taxi?

Private flying cars…

Let’s be honest: we all have dreamed about flying cars at some point of our life. Visions of flight above the landscape of a futuristic city have been with us for decades. Today, thanks to the development of drone technologies, flying personal air vehicles may finally become reality. But are flying cars going to be available for private customers just like nowadays traditional motor vehicles? 

Air transportation is a far more complicated than driving a car. Flying in an urban landscape is a great challenge even for the most experienced pilots. That’s why driver’s licenses for personal air vehicles are not a viable solution. The best possible outcome for safe flying cars is a remote-control system. By making urban air transportation automated, we will minimize the possibility of error. 

… or public air transportation? 

This leads us to the other concept of UAM development, which differs a lot from the vision of private flying aircraft. Most of the urban air mobility companies prefer to focus on the development of a public air transportation. In this scenario, web of on-demand aerial vehicle and urban taxi executes the idea of urban air mobility.

This solution has many advantages. By favoring unmanned aerial vehicles, UAM developers are able to create a reliable and secure air transportation network. Because of its automatization and centralization, it will be easier to oversee air vehicles. This will help to adjust urban air mobility solutions to the city landscape.

Urban air transportation for everyone 

The high focus on public air transportation doesn’t exclude privately-owned flying cars. Of course, such vehicles needed to be controlled remotely, just like flying urban taxi services. However, due to high costs of production and maintenance of such experimental technology, this option is going to be limited (at least at the beginning) for the wealthiest clients interested in owning a flying car.

But public urban air transportation won’t be so exclusive. On-demand flying urban taxi will be an affordable option for every citizen. As a mean of public transportation, UAM vehicles are going to be far less expensive than private flying cars. Moreover, cities interested in the development of a sustainable and safe urban landscape may even cover the cost of operations, making urban air mobility vehicles an evolution of today’s buses.


VTOL aircraft and other vehicles which shape UAM industry

Success of the urban air mobility idea lies in aerial vehicles. They need to be reliable and secure to enable the safe transportation in city areas. UAM companies utilize modern technologies to achieve this goal. From VTOL aircraft to commercial drones capable of carrying passengers – the UAM industry is full of amazing vehicles.

Recently we talked about futuristic drone technologies used by UAM companies. Today we look on very specific types of vehicles which has contributed to the development of modern air transportation in cities.

VTOL aircraft – helicopters of tomorrow 

The idea of urban air mobility is often associated with the concept of the VTOL vehicle. It is an abbreviation for “vertical take-off and landing”. The term may seem complicated at first. However, the very first implementation of the VTOL idea, the helicopter, has been with us for nearly a century. VTOL vehicles bear some significant advantages over other modes of an aerial transport.

Unlike airplanes, they don’t need a large runway area to take-off or land, which is invaluable in the urban environment. However, today’s implementations of this solution have some flaws. Modern helicopters are noisy, and they need a trained pilot to fly. For decades, the aviation industry has been working on innovative ideas of vertical take-off and landing vehicles. The most promising one is electronic VTOL. It aims to utilize modern technologies to provide safe and secure air transportation.

Influence of commercial drones 

Urban air mobility can learn a lot from modern commercial drones. Constructional solutions used in this industry are important guidelines to the development of UAM travels. Some types of commercial drones such as quadcopter can be successfully modified to work as a mode of transportation suitable for carrying passengers.

UAM also draws from the software solutions of modern commercial drones. Usually, they are unmanned aerial vehicles, capable of running even without a human operator. Such a high level of autonomy might be necessary to create a sustainable and secure network of UAM vehicles. It will eliminate the possibility of human mistake, which consequences would be catastrophic in the urban area.

Personal air vehicle prototypes

All breakthroughs made in the field of VTOL vehicles or commercial drones have boosted the UAM industry. It led us to the development of modern prototypes constructed by urban air mobility developers. Companies such as Airbus or Uber proposed their own ideas of a personal air vehicle. In those amazing concepts, they utilize the solutions of both the aviation industry and the drone market.

For example, CityAirbus is a functional prototype of an electric VTOL vehicle. From the technical side, it is a quadcopter similar to modern commercial drones. However, it is fully capable of carrying up to four passengers. The development of this aircraft would not have happened without technological achievements of its predecessors.

Every new personal air vehicle prototype brings us closer to the widely available urban air mobility service. We still need to overcome some disadvantages to achieve this goal. But thanks to the inspiring achievements in the field of aviation technology, the dream of flying cars may soon come true.