At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas, the much-awaited air autonomous transport of the future created by the German air taxi company, Volocopter, made its grand entrance during Intel’s keynote address when it flew across the stage briefly.
The Volocopter VC200
The Volocopter VC200– the widely known world’s first flying taxi — is envisioned to change the way people in megacities travel in the future.
Volocopter VC200 is the result of a creative collaboration between the 2 founders: Alexander Zosel, Chief Innovation Officer, and Stephan Wolf, Chief Software Advisor, whose partnership goes way back in their teens when they were building skateboard halfpipes. They are backed up by a strong technical team of engineers as well as by various investors who believe in their objective “to make every human’s dream of flying come true and to help modern cities resolve their increasing mobility issues.”
Stephan Wolf introduced to Alexander Zosel the idea of bringing drone technology to a higher level by coming up with an autonomous mode of transport that can carry humans. Zosel said in one of their interviews that he (Wolf), didn’t know how a Volocopter could be used [in practical terms], but it took me just a few hours to come up with a vision for the company – and how we could change mobility in cities around the world with autonomous air taxis,” as reported by Redbull.
So Volocopter has come a long way from that daring dream – which they had also kept hidden for a time for fear “people wouldn’t take us seriously,” to reality, and continues to bring hope that it will shape the future of individual mobility, and specifically autonomous air travel, which will surely bring a big change to the aviation industry.
To quote the company’s vision: “to make every human being’s dream of flying come true and help modern cities resolve increasing mobility issues.”
The Volocopter VC200 is the later version of the company’s single-place experimental electric multirotor helicopter, a takeoff from the first series, E-volo VC1. Like a drone, it is designed to be autonomous or, as its website says, it can be operated with a joystick and an assistive systems for support.
Other features of the Volocopter include:
- Safety – it is built in compliance with strict German and international safety standards
- State-of-the-art Acoustics – giving it a pleasant, quiet ride
- Electric – the Volocopter runs on 100% electric
- German Engineering Quality, known for its perfection, safety, and reliability
The Volocopter VC20, a cross between a drone and a car, and created as an alternative innovation to “urban mobility” is still a prototype, for another newer and more polished version has followed it — the Volocopter 2X, and which is reported to be company’s first true production vehicle. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Among its features are:
- Flight time of 30 minutes
- Maximum range of 17 miles
The future of Volocopters is optimistically bright for the creators, especially with partners such as Intel to make their vision a feasible reality. Yet
The future of Volocopters is optimistically bright for the creators, especially with partners such as Intel to make their vision a feasible reality. Yet there are still hurdles to leap such as the kind of public reception to this kind of point-to-point autonomous travel. As what Autoweek mentioned in an article last year, there are fewer obstacles in the air, but they including serious ones like power lines, and even the most modern of helicopters still require a lot of skilled human decision-making —
Even then, it is clear how far drone technology has come to inspire these so-called small vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft.