Air taxis are promising to be a new way to ferry passengers from town-to-town or through a busy commute day, but safety remains the critical priority for operators and manufacturers, according to a new study from Horizon Aircraft.
The study across 10 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Oceania and Asia found that 65% of adults will fly in electric vertical take off and landing (eVTROL) air taxis once approved by regulators. Additionally, 61% would use air taxis in other countries where regulators have approved them.
In the study, three out of four surveyed (or 76%) worried about eVTOL safety and said it was the biggest deterrent for using air taxis while 69% would want reassurances about the training of pilots.
About 47% worried about the cost of flights while 38% worry about the comfort of flights and 43% are worried about the environmental impact.
Of those who would use flying cars, people in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India would most likely use an air taxi once they are approved at 87% and 82%, respectively. South Africans are also the most positive about the use of air taxis in other countries.
“There is strong support for the concept of air taxis and the eVTOL market in general worldwide, people are keen to use the aircraft, and very positive about the development of the sector,” said Brandon Robinson, CEO and co-founder of Horizon Aircraft.
Robinson said the proof of this is in the $900 million investments made in the eVTOL market in the first six months of 2020 with more investment forecasted in the coming years.
“The challenge for the industry is designing aircraft which are commercially viable and which, most importantly, meet the highest standards of safety to meet passenger expectations,” Robinson said.
Horizon Aircraft, which Astro entered into a binding agreement to buy in February, has developed the Cavorite X5, which the company claims flies similarly to a normal aircraft but is all-electric.