Volocopter and Grab to conduct air taxi feasibility study in Southeast Asia
Posted: 18 February 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The feasibility study will look into the most suitable cities and routes to deploy air taxis in Southeast Asian cities, evaluate the best use cases for air taxis, and explore the possibility of joint flight tests, among other things.
Credit: Nikolay Kazakov for Volocopter
German urban air mobility (UAM) pioneer Volocopter and Southeast Asia’s largest ‘everyday super-app’ Grab have announced that they will conduct a joint feasibility study on UAM as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the prospect of UAM solutions in the region’s megacities.
The findings aim to lay the groundwork for potential future cooperation between both companies which could include launching services related to UAM. Both companies aim to help solve mobility issues and improve the quality of life through technological innovations.
Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter, said: “This cooperation is another important step towards the commercialisation of UAM in one of the most traffic congested regions of the world. Together, we will learn from unprecedented insights into the economic and societal opportunity of launching our services on the hottest routes in the Southeast Asian market. This collaboration also offers the potential for a much larger cooperation which could eventually extend intermodal mobility to the skies.”
Chris Yeo, Head of Grab Ventures, said: “As a superapp that operates across 339 cities in Southeast Asia, Grab has gathered traffic patterns and customer insights in the region that can help our teams come up with the most innovative mobility solutions to plug the gaps in the transport landscape. This partnership will enable Volocopter to further develop UAM solutions that are relevant for Southeast Asian commuters so they can decide on their preferred journey option based on their budgets, time constraints and other needs, in a seamless way.”
With flights of electric human vehicles in Dubai, Las Vegas, Helsinki, Stuttgart, and most recently Singapore, the technology is said to be maturing towards certification quickly. For the flight over Singapore’s Marina Bay, Volocopter worked closely with the local Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and has recently been certified as a Design Organisation by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in which it will work in close collaboration to receive the necessary permits to start commercial operations.