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New study looks into the acceptance of air taxis in society

A new study into the acceptance of air taxis has shown positive results, with the majority of participants already imagining using them today.

Credit: Mercedes-Benz AG, Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart.

A new study has taken place in Stuttgart to understand consumers’ attitudes towards electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft technology and the factors that lead to either acceptance or rejection of air taxis.

As part of the initiative, named ‘Vision Smart City’, the researchers from Stuttgart Technology University of Applied Sciences initiated the first public flight of a Volocopter air taxi in a European City so the research participants had the opportunity to experience the Volocopter air taxi flying at close range. They were then asked about their personal attitudes towards air taxis.

The research initiative is different to previous studies in which the participants had to imagine air taxi technology, the researchers said, which means that, for the first time, a realistic evaluation of the public opinion on air taxis could be retrieved. 

The most important study results were:

  • Air taxis are no longer a futuristic vision; the majority of the participants can already imagine using them today. Time-saving in particular, but also the joy of usage, are currently seen as the greatest advantages
  • The societal acceptance is high as well. More than 80 percent of the participants would support an offering of a Volocopter service in Stuttgart. The respondents were particularly positive in their assessment of the effects on the overall mobility offer and the perception of the city of Stuttgart as a location for innovation
  • Almost half of the participants currently believe that air taxis will become an everyday means of transport at some point in the future
  • Participants, who experienced the live Volocopter flight rated it significantly quieter than expected. The intention to use the Volocopter remains at the same high level after experiencing the flight
  • People with more prior knowledge about air taxis have a higher intention of usage and fewer reservations, so a further increase in acceptance can be expected when the technology becomes better known.

“This study shows that there is a generally high level of both individual acceptance and societal acceptance of air taxis in the public,” the research Whitepaper said. “Both topics are highly correlated, which means that a higher willingness to use air taxis results in higher acceptance of air taxi services and vice versa.”

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