Moneycontrol
Dec 07, 2017 05:39 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Berlin-based startups believe air-taxis could be a commercial thing in 'two to three years'

If industry insiders are to be believed, mobility solutions are soon going to take aerial route

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How far in time do you think you can hail a helicopter or quadcopter just the way you hail a cab today? Germany-based startup Volocopter and Lilium VTOL believe that the time could be as soon as ‘two to three years’.

“We think that in two or three years we’ll have the first commercial applications somewhere in the world with our service,” said Alexander Zosel, co-founder and CIO of the company in an event in Germany.

Zosel said that the first such service would be a ‘point to point solution’ targeting a particular mobility issue, for example, a traffic bottleneck.

“I believe strongly the first commercial application will be a point to point solution over a bottleneck somewhere where you have a lot of congestions or you have a river or something else. And then you have some aircrafts — like 10 or 20 aircrafts — flying point to point and shuttling people… This will come really fast,” a Tech Crunch report quoted Zosel.

Yann de Vries of Atomico who has invested in Lilium Aviation said that within 15 minutes one can be anywhere in a 70 km radius. He reflected that this is impossible to do with a car, even if they were autonomous as there is so much traffic.

de Vries, however, did not concretely say when Lilium could be ready with such a service. He though maintained that this is sooner than later. “Several years, not decades,” he added.

Volocopter is a startup building the 'world’s first manned fully electric and safe air taxis. Lilium Aviation is a European Space Agency supported company that is developing an electric vertical take-off and landing jet.
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