inaugural flight First urban flight of the Volocopter in Europe
On Saturday the prototype of a flying taxi from Volocopter GmbH completed its first public flight in a larger European city. The company from Bruchsal in Baden-Württemberg has been developing an aircraft for passenger transport for eight years and already completed a fully autonomous flight with a prototype in Dubai in 2017.
Thousands of spectators, including Winfried Kretschmann, Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Ola Källenius, CEO of <Daimler AG and the CEO of Volocopter Florian Reuter, experienced the four-minute flight over a sports field near the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The fully electric flying taxi was controlled from the ground, reached an altitude of around 50 meters and remained unmanned.
Vision Smart City
The flight was part of the "Vision Smart City" event presenting the mobility of tomorrow. From autonomous driving and micro-mobility to sharing services and connected cities, Daimler AG companies and their partners presented concepts for the mobility of the future.
Volocopters upcoming Air Taxi VoloCity can be part of Daimler AG's new mobility structures, Group CEO Ola Källenius said: "I am convinced that this way we can solve the congestion problem in cities on specific routes".
Aiming for approval
To operate the air taxis, they must be licensed by the aviation authorities for the respective countries. Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter expects two to three years for commercial operations in Germany. The goal of transporting passengers in a Volocopter without pilots will continue for several years more.
The air taxi can complement the growing variety of mobility forms in the coming years. As a fully electric vehicle that is largely independent of infrastructure, the air taxi can establish itself as a form of mobility in urban areas. The aim of Florian Reuter is to make the use of the Volocopter possible for everyone and not only for the wealthy.
In times of constantly growing mobility demand, the air taxi can be a reasonable supplement to mobility by relieving the burden on existing infrastructures.