Porsche automaker and aircraft manufacturer Boeing announce work on a flying car concept. Both companies see this niche as a potential market, particularly in the context of urban air taxis.
Porsche and Boeing have joined forces by signing a memorandum of understanding to address the case of urban flying. The signing took place on October 10th.
Both companies will create a vertical take-off and landing aircraft (VTOL) concept, which will lead to a working prototype design. These efforts indicate that the future of transport is soon going to revolutionize and it’s no more a far-fetched idea to make air travel available for everyone as a luxury.
There are other companies inspired by the idea too. The group RATP and Airbus are studying the integration of autonomous flying vehicles in urban transport.
Aerial urban mobility is at the heart of car manufacturers’ concerns. While the Japanese company Hyundai has just announced the creation of a specific division, and the Chinese investing in the German start-up Volocopter in early September, it is the turn of Porsche to position itself. On Thursday, October 10, 2019, the German manufacturer unveiled a collaboration with aircraft manufacturer Boeing to study the development of a flying car.
Porsche requires it to be a luxury vehicle, which would take off and land vertically (VTOL) and use electric motors. A team of international researchers will be set up to analyze the potential of this future market and imagine the first cases of use.
ANTICIPATING ACCELERATION IN 2025
This agreement recalls the one between the Europeans’ Audi and Airbus, who are developing a similar concept. Why such an interest? A study conducted by Porsche in 2018 shows an acceleration in urban air mobility from 2025 because it is faster and more efficient compared to the current terrestrial transport means. This would paradoxically cost more to produce and exploit, while being less flexible in uses.
“Porsche is looking to expand its business by becoming a flagship brand of premium mobility, which could mean, in the longer term, the need to address the third dimension in our travels,” Detlev von Platen said in a statement. “We combine the strengths of two of the leading companies in the sector to position ourselves in a key potential market in the future.”
For his part, Boeing NeXt’s vice president and general manager, Steve Nordlung, said, “Together, Porsche and Boeing can think of innovative technologies and design, to boost the air-to-air urban mobility world”. However, this is not the first attempt that the American aircraft manufacturer has made in this area. Since 2016, Boeing have participated in the Uber Elevate flying taxi project, whose first prototypes will take off during 2020.
There are several of flying car prototypes in the testing phase. Kitty Hawk is perfecting several, and Uber expects to make the Uber Air service a reality very soon.