Aircraft

Volocopter shares its vision of skyport networks for flying taxis

Volocopter shares its vision o...
Rendering of the Volocopter flying taxi in action
Rendering of the Volocopter flying taxi in action
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German aviation company Volocopter has today shared its plans for urban air taxi infrastructure
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German aviation company Volocopter has today shared its plans for urban air taxi infrastructure
Rendering of a battery swap taking place at a Volo-Hub
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Rendering of a battery swap taking place at a Volo-Hub
Rendering of the Volocopter flying taxi in action
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Rendering of the Volocopter flying taxi in action
How would flying taxis pick up and drop off people around busy urban centers?
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How would flying taxis pick up and drop off people around busy urban centers?
German aviation company Volocopter has today shared its plans for urban air taxi infrastructure
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German aviation company Volocopter has today shared its plans for urban air taxi infrastructure
Rendering of a Volo-Hub
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Rendering of a Volo-Hub
Rendering of a Volo-Hub
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Rendering of a Volo-Hub
German aviation company Volocopter has today shared its plans for urban air taxi infrastructure
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German aviation company Volocopter has today shared its plans for urban air taxi infrastructure

Showing off a fully functioning flying taxi is one thing, having a plan in place for how you'll move hundreds of them around big cities is another. German aviation company Volocopter has today shared its plans for urban air taxi infrastructure, envisioning dozens of transport hubs scattered around urban centers that would move tens of thousands of passengers per day.

With so much still to play out in terms of technological development and regulatory approval, it's hard to take any plan for fully fleshed out air taxi infrastructure as anything more than a thought experiment. But with so much money being poured into the industry from the likes of Boeing and Airbus, along with countless smaller startups, it's certainly a good time to start thinking about how our cities would function with fleets of flying taxis zipping around overhead.

How would flying taxis pick up and drop off people around busy urban centers?
How would flying taxis pick up and drop off people around busy urban centers?

Already NASA is doing this in a way, with a nationwide drone traffic control system under development. It has also teamed up with Uber to develop traffic control systems for its flying taxis, with the ride-sharing company hoping to launch its UberAir service in Dubai, Dallas and LA in 2020.

Now Volocopter is keen to share its ideas. Its concept describes both Volo-Ports and Volo-Hubs. The latter would work like cable car stations, with the company's two-seater, autonomous aircraft landing and taking off from pads every 30 seconds. After landing, each vehicle would move inside the hub, where its passengers hop out and its batteries are swapped, readying it for takeoff again.

German aviation company Volocopter has today shared its plans for urban air taxi infrastructure
German aviation company Volocopter has today shared its plans for urban air taxi infrastructure

Volo-Ports, meanwhile, are basically helipads that offer on-demand travel, so users can hail a Volocopter from a hotel or shopping mall that has its own port, for example.

The company expects the first complete Volocopter air taxi systems to be in place within the next 10 years, with capacity to move 100,000 passengers per hour.

"We expect any air taxi transport system to begin with a point to point connection and over time grow into a system of dozens of Volo-Hubs in a city." says Alex Zosel, Co-Founder of Volocopter. "Once operated at scale, flying won't be significantly more expensive than taking a cab, but it will be significantly faster."

You can check out the video below for an overview of how Volocopter sees it all fitting together.

Source: Volocopter

Infrastructure to Integrate Air Taxi Services in Cities

5 comments
Towerman
Looking forward to this future which is basically around the corner !
BrianK56
One day these multi props are going to make single props obsolete.
OptikErik
Will the manufacturer be providing the populace with ear plugs 24/7? What will happen if two of these collide above my house? Or have a mechanical breakdown?
Towerman
Did you say earplugs ????? You must be joking right, multirotors like the muller flying car is not made with ICE engines anymore. It's all electric. Helicopters of today is much louder than multirotors, i hear one coming 20 miles out, and the ground shakes when it passes !!!, a mere multirotor buzz is like a swallow flapping it's wings compared to it. And don't get me started with those rat rods, and harleys passing by every 2 minutes on our main street ! You will beg you life a silently buzzy multirotor comes by.
Towerman
As to what will happen when they "collide over your house" ? ? The same when 2 helicopters or airplanes collide over your house, only helicopters and airplanes are much bigger and heavier so the destruction will be much greater. As to mechanical failure ? This is what happens when ignorant or the uninformed makes a "quick" post over something they have little knowledge of. Multi rotors have very little mechanical parts compared to the 1000s of parts of a helicopter or airplane,only the motors within their bearings spin, it makes for a very robust system. Moreover, they have redundant motors and flight controllers. So they are very reliable mechanical wise, way much more than helicopters.