Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vehicles, or in simple terms flying taxis, have been estimated to arrive in Europe by 2024 as said by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Market Value And Jobs
Patrick Ky, EASA Executive Director, said that the organisation has already certified some air taxi designs and approvals could come as early as 2024.
The market could expand to become worth EUR 4.2 bn by 2030 and generate 90,000 jobs.
Europe would be the main base for about 31% of the market for the technology.
Potential Uses And Development Timeline
Ky said that according to him the taxis could be used to ferry passengers or for delivering cargo.
Commercial use could begin in 2024 or 2025.
In Europe presently at least 6 firms are developing UAMs.
Among them, German startup Volocopter and backers of the Aeroports de Paris project are hoping to display their products at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
The timeframe within which these vehicles will begin operations is dependent on approvals after inspection of the risks they pose.
The present focus is on manned UAMs to carry passengers and unmanned drones to deliver goods.
Fully autonomous UAMs are still a thing of the future as of now.
However, according to a study 71% of people in 6 urban regions have expressed support for electrically powered vehicles or air taxis.
These vehicles would be making vertical take-offs and landing, unlike airplanes.
The public consensus on the most appropriate use of the futuristic vehicles was in situations of medical emergencies.
Risks To Consider
There are potential risks of such a concept to be sure, such as when they are flying over crowded urban areas or obstacles such as trains.
Main concerns for those surveyed include safety and noise pollution, along with bird strikes and cybersecurity with regards to drones.