Porsche and Boeing have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that states that both companies will work together to explore the premium personal urban air mobility vehicle market.
The new partnership will see the two companies combine their decades of experience in their respective sectors, and begin looking at how to address the challenges of what could become a key market segment in the future.
In addition, Porsche, Boeing, and Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences have agreed to design and develop a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle prototype.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm
Back in 2018, a study by Porsche Consulting found that the urban air mobility market is likely to ramp up shortly after 2025. Porsche Consulting also determined that urban air mobility has the potential to transport passengers much more efficiently than current terrestrial transportation systems while increasing cost-effectiveness and flexibility.
However, given that Porsche and Boeing are looking to develop a ‘premium’ eVTOL, it can be safely assumed that any system developed by the duo will not be targeted at the masses. Instead, it seems like that the new venture would be better designed to rival private jet companies—particularly those that offer subscription-based plans such as NetJets and JetSmarter.
An Increasingly Busy Sector
Porsche and Boeing are certainly not the only two companies that are looking to build a commercial flying car. Over the past decade, more than a dozen companies have begun looking into the feasibility of flying cars, while a handful of these have managed to produce a functioning prototype.
Among the most memorable of these is Uber’s recent foray into the flying car space. In 2017, the multinational ride-sharing company revealed its plans to roll out a network of flying cars in the near future, and also announced it would begin testing its helicopter-like flying taxi in Melbourne back in June.
Similarly, just last year, Airbus unveiled its prototype flying taxi known as the Vahana eVTOL aircraft. However, there are numerous skeptics that believe that Airbus’ new flying electric taxi venture, as well as any other fully-electric personal aircraft, will remain a pipe dream for at least a couple of decades since battery technology simply isn’t up to scratch to enable long-distance battery-powered flight.
Overall, despite all the noise about flying cars for the past decade, not a single VTOL-type personal aircraft has ever successfully launched, while earlier attempts like the Moller Skycar appear to have fallen into obscurity.
What is your opinion on personal flying cars? Is the technology ready or are they still just a fantasy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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