Volocopter shows off a prototype air taxi terminal in Singapore
There are quite a few players in the electric VTOL game, but few seem to be as busy, at least publicly, as German startup Volocopter. The company has shown off a first full-scale prototype of what it calls a VoloPort, the terminal for the flying taxi service it envisions for city centers of the future.
Like others pursuing similar vehicle concepts, Volocopter aims to cut into congestion, pollution and urban travel times with an electric aircraft built to hop between destinations in busy city centers. The latest version of its 18-rotor aircraft can transport two people at a time, cover 35 km (21 mi) on each charge of its batteries and move at up to 100 km/h (68 mph).
Following a string of successful test flights, Volocopter expanded to Singapore in 2018, and then announced plans to build its first flying taxi station there earlier this year. As part of the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in the city, the company is now showing off its first full-scale prototype.
A stationary Volocopter is the centerpiece of the prototype VoloPort, which the company describes as modular and able to be built onto rooftops, parking lots and railway stations. Beyond that, there's not a whole lot of detail. Given this technology is still years away, this is more a conceptual mockup than a practical representation of how people will be getting into these things and flying over cities.
It is another interesting little look at the direction Volocopter is taking, however. It plans to conduct more test flights using its recently updated aircraft before the year is out, following on from outings at Helsinki airport and in Stuttgart, Germany.