The future is vertical
In just seven years from now, the first drone air taxis will lift off, primarily in big cities across the globe. And a mere 10 years later, drones could already be servicing their own elaborate passenger network with about 23,000 aircraft operating along major routes, says Porsche Consulting in its Future of Vertical Mobility report.
Vertical mobility for everyone is no longer a fantasy or wishful thinking but is becoming a piece in the ever-changing puzzle called mobility, maintains Porsche. Passenger drones have an important role to play because they are fast and available on-demand.
“They are an attractive and competitive way to cover distances of 20kms or more since they require relatively few infrastructure investments and can service secondary and tertiary routes,” according to the report. “Vertical mobility is also a fast escape from clogged routes.”
However, Porsche Consulting concedes, getting people to accept and use such aircraft depends on solving several key issues such as safety and security concerns, along with the potential for visual and noise pollution.
There’s also the need to prove that “everyone will benefit from these systems being integrated into city mobility, not just the wealthy, as with today’s private helicopters”.
e-Overview: Look to the Middle East for the world’s first commercial passenger drone service. The Dubai transport authority is working with German drone maker Volocopter to put self-driving flying cabs into the air as soon as possible. The city has just conducted its first test drone taxi trial and Volocopter chief Florian Reuter envisages passengers using a smartphone app to order cabs in the style of Uber.
Image: Porsche Consulting