Urban ait mobility pioneer Volocopter has signed a partnership deal with Los Angeles-based Urban Movement Labs to explore the possibility of bringing the company’s urban air mobility eVTOL services to the Los Angeles area.
Volocopter, the German electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturer, defines urban air mobility (UAM) as a subcategory of the larger advanced air mobility (AAM) industry, focusing on how advanced aircraft can operate in and around cities.
The company is already developing eVTOL aircraft to provide commercial transportation services for both passengers and goods, including the VoloCity air taxi for short intra-city passenger routes, the VoloDrone for heavy-lift goods transport and delivery, and the VoloConnect for longer-distance passenger routes.
Volocopter hopes to launch its urban mobility services in the next two or three years after achieving final certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), followed by certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which will allow the company to bring its services from Europe to the United States.
“Our partnership with Urban Movement Labs is a great entryway into the US with our innovative UAM services,” said Christian Bauer, CCO of Volocopter.
“By leading the conversation about urban air mobility with broad stakeholders in Los Angeles, Volocopter can strategically identify and address how our services can benefit cities in the country.
Volocopter is the only eVTOL company to already hold two strategic EASA certification approvals to design and produce aircraft in-house, and most recently demonstrated its eVTOL progress Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where Volocopter conducted the first public flight of a crewed eVTOL in the US.
Urban Movement Labs is a collaboration between Los Angeles communities and local government, as well as mobility innovators such as including Google-backed self-driving car project Waymo, rideshare company Lyft, and US telecommunications giant Verizon.
“We are executing a community-first strategy to engage with community-based organizations and inform a policy framework that will guide the development of UAM infrastructure in the City of Los Angeles,” said Sam Morrissey, Executive Director at Urban Movement Labs.
“Through our partnership with Volocopter we can explore specific pilot projects to advance a future UAM network that reflects what we hear from Angelenos and establishes standards for future UAM operation.”
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.