Monday, November 29, 2021

Volocopter’s new whitepaper is a barometer for aerial mobility industry maturation

Volocopter published a white paper last week titled “The Roadmap to Scalable Urban Air Mobility” which characterized the requirements for future aerial mobility operations and growth. The release of the white paper is joined by the company’s continuing pledge for readiness of commercial scale (starting small) operations of eVTOLs within 2-3 years. Release of V2.0 follows Volocopter’s release of their first White Paper, which occurred in 2019.

“Volocopter is leading the pack for implementing urban air mobility internationally. With our VoloCity and chosen go-to-market approach, we can fit into the existing ecosystem well enough to get started in the next 2-3 years,” said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. “However, in order to subsequently scale our operations in a safe and efficient manner and offer a fantastic experience to our customers, we need to establish a comprehensive and integrated UAM ecosystem. This is what we are doing together with our partners.”

While the focus of the 2019 white paper was largely engineering and systems-based, the second version of the white paper adapts a more holistic view to the ecosystem and supportive infrastructure for successful eVTOL operations and maintenance, real estate development, and customer user interface and experience traits. Additionally, it makes predictions for the relative market share between logistical vs passenger carrying operations in order to determine which should be given more development effort first. In a first for many white papers in the disruptive mobility space, Volocopter places special emphasis on the importance of customer service as the primary determination of recurring revenue from pleased customers.

Volocopter also shared in their white paper how they plan to implement UAM services in cities like Singapore and Paris with a scalable business approach. Some of the special considerations outlined in the paper include:

  • The UAM industry is expected to have an €11.3 trillion addressable market by 2035 with a €241 billion market potential. Over half of the market potential lies in passenger mobility (e.g., VoloCity air taxi services), and the rest is covered by logistic-type, cargo services (e.g., VoloDrone services).
  • Strong partnerships and an ecosystem strategy will play a pivotal role for entry into the electric air taxi market and will set a precedent for future UAM services – for example partnerships between real estate development companies, airspace integration services, and maintenance and repair operators’ manpower and expertise.
  • The most successful approach will put the customer first in all critical areas including safety, infrastructure, aircraft design, air operations, city integration, and acceptance.
  • Volocopter supports the high safety standards for air taxis defined by the EASA’s SC-VTOL and the progress with concurrent type certificate validation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).
  • Digitalization and autonomous flight will help decrease prices for air taxi services in the long-term. Volocopter is already underway to ensure that the aircraft produced can fly autonomously and that all various components of the UAM ecosystem can be connected using a digital backbone and platform, VoloIQ.

Why it’s important: Volocopter’s white paper 2.0 reflects the progress made over the past two years towards aerial mobility’s commercial implementation. The discussion has shifted from engineering and design of eVTOL aircraft to infrastructure, maintenance, operation, and customer integration – logical next steps in the design lifecycle which are equally as important if not more so than initial design. Further, the white paper provides stratification for the predicted relative demands between logistical and passenger carrying operations, and outlines considerations for how the progression from piloted operations in 2023 will evolve to completely autonomous operations in 2032.

Read the full white paper here.

Source // Volocopter Press Release