Grab Teamed-Up with Volocopter, Testing Air Taxi Services
Grab teamed up with a German startup, Volocopter to test air taxi services in Southeast Asia. Volocopter targets commercial flights to be carried out in 2022.
The air mobility service startup has also demonstrated its electric helicopter (Electric vertical take-off and landing / eVTOL) in Singapore in September 2019. At that time, the company provided a foundation called VoloPort.
The electric helicopter was developed by Volocopter since 2011. eVTOL has even been tested flying through Dubai, Helsinki, Las Vegas, and Stuttgart.
This time, Volocopter is collaborating with an on-demand service provider company, Grab examines the regional taxi market. Both of them learned the most suitable route for this air taxi service.
The two startups are also evaluating the right taxation for the flying taxi service. Quoted from The Verge, CEO of Volocopter, Florian Reuter revealed that the collaboration between Volocopter and Grab is an opportunity that offers greater potential for cooperation. It also made it possible for both of them to expand intermodal mobility in the air.
Quoted from TechCrunch, Grab Ventures CEO Chris Yeo said that there is a possibility of developing air mobility solutions in cities through this collaboration. He also revealed that prospective passengers can make their own travel choices based on the budget made, time, and other needs in an easy way.
Volocopter Commercial Flights are Targeted in 2022
Volocopter targets commercial flights to begin in 2022 and passengers can make flights between Voloport. In 2035, Volocopter targets to have dozens of VoloPort in Singapore and handle 10 thousand passengers per day.
This air cab is designed with two seats specifically designed for flights within the city and will remain stable even with microturbulence around skyscrapers.
This air transportation looks like a helicopter but operates with drone technology, can take off and land vertically, carry weights of up to 160 kilograms, and travel distances of up to 30 kilometers. This air taxi can travel a top speed of about 100 km/hour.
It is rumored that this vehicle is also called much quieter than a helicopter. The vehicle operates with a rechargeable battery, and can be operated by pilots using a joystick, or remotely.
In addition to Grab, Uber plans to launch a flying taxi service in 2023. Startup sharing a ride (ride-hailing) in collaboration with a number of partners, including Volocopter.
Many technology companies are trying to launch a similar service. However, some of them failed or were delayed from the deadline. Kitty Hawk, for example, reviewed the air transportation service plan because there were reports of damage, battery fire, and others.
Kitty Hawk, supported by one of Google’s founders, is a flying car company. The aircraft manufacturer from the United States, Zunum Aero is also struggling to raise funds to develop a similar service. In fact, the company was forced to make layoffs or layoffs of employees after Boeing resigned as a supporter.
This Air Taxi will Serve Trips Between Points of the City
Volocopter is twice smaller than ordinary aircraft. The vehicle basically became an air taxi that was only made to carry one passenger due to congestion, overcrowding and road closures in Southeast Asian cities.
Unlike commercial airplanes at airports, Volocopter wants to focus on local point trips in a city. This air taxi flight can be carried out between Voloports in one city. The plan, commercial flights will begin in 2022 if there are no obstacles.
Dozens of Voloport will be built in Singapore in 2035. The plan is that each will control tens of thousands of passengers each day. This means that the air taxi service is predicted not to require special infrastructure such as a parking lot.