the ultimate solution to the traffic problem
The largest cities in the world have to find new and innovative ways to deal with the traffic problem. These methods can be designing more complicated roads systems, better public transportation, and changing the working hours for offices and schools. Maybe at the top of the list, however, one can mention air taxis. This is a trend that can’t be dismissed as a mere concept anymore. Why? Because many of the well-known names in the transportation industry are investing their resources in developing vehicles for sci-fi-looking vehicles.
The advantages of developing air taxis
Obviously, the main reason for thinking of these new ways of transportation is saving time, which otherwise would be spent in traffic. Urban traffic, in fact, is one of the main reasons this technology was thought of in the first place.
Although electric cars are getting more and more popular, the growth is not fast enough to make a real difference in air pollution. Air taxis are solely electric, and using them might cause the difference many cities are looking for.
Lower infrastructure costs
Building new roads requires massive amounts of time and money. Air taxis, however, can take off and land vertically. Therefore they don’t need as much space as regular taxis and airplanes. What’s more, the navigation of air taxis is much more straightforward than cars since they have a 3-dimensional space at their disposal.
Challenges of developing air taxis
One of the main challenges of using air taxis on a large scale is designing a software platform that considers the outline of the city’s skyscrapers and the other aerial vehicles running around in the city’s skyscape. This software needs to have a function similar to air traffic control towers taking into account everything that moves in the skies.
Like any other kind of flying, air taxis are crippled by extreme weather too. Fierce gusts of wind, heavy rains, and snowstorms can make air taxis unsafe to use. Ironically, rainy and stormy days are when traffic is heavier and more time-consuming than usual.
Companies are trying to make their air taxis as dynamically efficient as possible. However, these efforts do not mean that the result is entirely silent. With one or two air taxis in a city, the amount of noise can be negligible. However, imagine hundreds of air taxis zooming about overhead; the noise would definitely be something to consider.
Whether manned or unmanned, using air taxis requires serious time and energy, training people. If the air taxi requires a pilot to be present, airmen and women must be educated in navigating through the city and air traffic in confined spaces. In the case of using drone taxis, controllers must learn how to control the taxi safely through the city.
Companies trying to develop the first air taxi
Airbus is already known throughout the world for its airplanes. This recognition will certainly help the company gain the trust of its passengers when they launch their CityAirbus project. After all, if an Airbus plane can haul 850 people across oceans, it can handle four passengers across the city.
The vehicle designed by Airbus is called CityAirbus and has the capacity of 4 passengers. This vehicle is designed for vertical take-off and landing and works with eight propellers. The CityAirbus completed its first test flight in 2019, traveling at 120 kilometers per hour. An interesting point about the CityAirBus model is that it is unmanned and is capable of autonomous flight.
Airbus is reported to have a revenue of about 50 billion euros in 2020. This company was one of the many in the industry to suffer significantly because of the Covid pandemic. In fact, Airbus’s revenue was about 69.3 billion euros in 2019, and it suffered a massive loss in the span of just one year. The stock for Airbus is currently traded for 114.38 euros per share. According to analysis, this stock will grow by 24% per year in the next five years.
Joby Aviation (JOBY)
Joby is a startup based in California. This company has spent ten years of its time and countless amounts of money to develop air taxis. The efforts of the 800 engineers in Joby have been absolutely successful, and this company is one of the leading names in the air taxi industry.
The first Joby air taxi prototype was tested in 2017, and since then, countless vehicles have been made and tested. Today, Joby has signed partnership agreements with two of the largest companies in the transportation industry, namely Toyota and Uber.
These agreements mean that Joby has even more incentive to perfect its design and manufacturing process for air taxis. 2020 was an important year for Joby, not just because of these partnerships. But this company also managed to get the approval of the US Airforce as worthy of flying.
Joby plans to start its commercial operations in 2024. This company has not had any revenue in the past ten years. However, their stock is traded for $9.40 per share. It’s worth mentioning that this price was about $14 last month this time and has taken a dive since then.
Lilium is a German company that plans to overtake the skies of the US and Europe with its air taxis. This company is based in Munich, Germany but also has offices all over the world. The air taxis designed by Lilium have the capacity for six passengers and one pilot. It also has extra room for luggage and loads.
An interesting point about Lilium’s operations is the vertiports it has started to build. Right now, this company has begun to create 14 vertiports all across Florida to set up its first air taxi network in this city. This company intends to go on the stock market by signing a combination agreement with a US company called Qell Acquisition Corp (QELL). As soon as this agreement is signed, the company’s stock will be publicly traded in the stock market under the symbol LILM.
Uber Air (UBER)
Uber is another well-known company presently in the business of urban transportation. Uber’s taxis have found their way not only to the towns and cities in the United States but also to many other countries across the world.
One of the essential goals of Uber is to go 100% carbon-free by the year 2040. In order to do this, the cars and air taxis designed and operated by Uber are going to be electric. To this end, Uber had made an agreement with Joby to accelerate its air taxis program.
Uber is estimated to have about 16.11 billion dollars of revenue in 2021. This company’s revenue is forecasted to have a 40% increase and reach 22.61 billion dollars in the following year. The stock for Uber is traded for $40.52 per share. This stock is predicted to grow by 64% per year in the next five years.
The potential market size for air taxis
The air taxi market is forecasted to mature by the end of the decade. Right now, some of the most reliable names in short-haul and long-haul transportation are working nonstop to change the world of taxis forever.
Many of these companies are planning to introduce their first taxies as early as 2025. Therefore, the market for air taxis will potentially reach its peak by 2030. This is where analysts have predicted that the market size for air taxis will be about 6 billion dollars. But this is not all. By 2040, this market is estimated to grow to more than double, reaching an astounding size of 15 billion dollars.