Electronics and Semiconductors

Porsche and Boeing collaborating on air taxis

17 October 2019
An artist rendering of the possible flying air taxi in development. Source: Porsche

Porsche and Boeing are teaming up to study the potential for personal air mobility vehicles, including an air taxi service.

Under the agreement, the companies will create an international team to analyze possible use cases for flying cars and other vehicles. Boeing has a storied history of aircraft development, while Porsche is looking to expand beyond luxury autos and into a premium mobility.

Urban air mobility consists of a variety of aircraft that have the ability to carry passengers or cargo through the air across either short or longer distances. For air taxis, these will consist of either vertical take off and landing (VTOL) aircraft piloted by a human in some circumstances or autonomous without any human intervention. Some of these air mobility vehicles will be able to also drive on land, which will come under the moniker of flying cars, while others will be more drone-like with only the ability to fly across cities or between cities.

Porsche recently commissioned a study that forecasts the urban air mobility market will grow in terms of both volume and deployment by 2025, as more passengers experience air taxis, flying cars and passenger drones, as well as the services for these vehicles fall in cost and become more flexible in their ability to carry more passengers or cargo for longer distances.

Boeing, Porsche and Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing, are developing a concept for a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle. Porsche will implement and test the prototype before developing a commercially viable flying car.

"This collaboration builds on our efforts to develop a safe and efficient new mobility ecosystem, and provides an opportunity to investigate the development of a premium urban air mobility vehicle with a leading automotive brand," said Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt, a division dedicated to autonomous and piloted vehicles.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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