German electric taxi to fly in Singapore in 2019
The flying electric taxi developed by German aircraft manufacturer, Volocopter, will be tested in Singapore the second semester of 2019, as was announced by the German company on Thursday on the occasion of the third edition of the ‘Autonomy and Urban Mobility Summit’ in Paris (France). In September the German startup succeeded in its first flying taxi test flight in Dubai.
Different climate conditions
“Dubai is interested in flying mobility and for us it’s important to test abroad, in completely different climate conditions”, explains Fabien Nestman, public affairs director of Volocopter.
The tested model – the second generation – has room for the pilot and a passenger with a maximum total weight of 160 kg. The vehicle is equipped with nine lithium-ion batteries, propelling two rotors each (18 in total). It can cover a distance of 30 km in half an hour. The third generation will be designed to take luggage aboard as well.
No little toy
Volocopter hopes to bring the engine to the market within five years. “The problems of urban mobility are accelerated by the structure of the cities”, says Nestman. “We cannot infinitely add extra roads on the ground.”
The flying taxi will not be sold to private customers. “We don’t want to produce a little toy for the happy few. On the contrary. We would like to offer an affordable flight service for a large part of the population.”
Volocopter was created in 2001 and has its headquarter south Frankfurt. Some of its investors are car manufacturer Daimler and IT giant Intel.
In April of this year Dutch telecom provider KPN was testing an autonomous flying drone taxi in Amsterdam, the Ehang 216 AAV (Autonomous Aerial Vehicle) built by Chinese electronics giant Huawei. Tests were done in the closed environment of the Arena football stadium in Amsterdam with the roof closed, as actually flying over public terrain isn’t legally permitted yet.