Sep 6, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Volocopter to get 25 million euros to develop driverless taxi-drones

With help from automotive giant Daimler and other investors, German company Volocopter has raised close to 25 million euros to finance its flying car project.

 

Volocopter announced this week that it had managed to raise almost 25 million euros via several investors, including German giant Daimler, to develop a new model of compact, driverless electric helicopter called the Volocopter 2X, designed to transport passengers by air.

 

 

Taxi-drones – the next big thing?

 

Autonomous vehicles have become ever more present in recent years, with the first driverless cars now on the market, such as the Model S and Model X from Elon Musk’s Tesla outfit. This autumn should see delivery start for the new Tesla Model 3 with level 5 autonomy, as well as trucks and shuttles that are either partially or fully driverless, as reported by french website Numerama.

 
A new and futuristic mode of transport is set to hit the market – taxi-drones! Airbus is currently working intensively on this particular concept, and is set to test its first prototypes by December 2017. German start-up Lilium Aviation has also developed a two-seater flying car fitted with 10-metre-long wings, and which had a successful first test flight last April. They are joined by Chinese company EHang, who unveiled their driverless mini-helicopter concept at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.

 

 

"100 years ago, urban transport went underground – now we have the means and the technology to go above-ground", said a delighted Airbus CEO Thomas Enders.

 

Volocopter demonstrations in Dubai by the end of 2017

 

In a recent press release, Volocopter were pleased to announce what they describe as a strategic partnership with Daimler, saying: "Automotive manufacturers are closely involved in the mobility of the future – be it driverless or electric, for example. This makes our strategic partnership with Daimler highly valuable."

 

This strategic partnership will enable the German company to get better media exposure for its project, and above all to finance tests on the Volocopter 2X by the end of 2017, with the first flights planned for the city of Dubai at some point in the final quarter of the year. The choice of geographical location is just as strategic, since a recent survey revealed that inhabitants of Dubai would on average like to have some 25% of their travel made using driverless vehicles – either on land, in the air or even by sea – by 2030.

 

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