The major ride-hailing companies around the globe are cherishing the dream of launching a taxi service in the near future. In this regard, the German aviation startup Volocopter has collaborated with Southeast Asia’s largest everyday super app Grab to conduct a joint feasibility study on urban air mobility in Southeast Asia.
The joint study, which is the part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by two companies, will “look into the most suitable cities and routes to deploy air taxis in Southeast Asian cities; evaluate the best use cases for air taxis, and explore the possibility of joint flight tests, among other things.”
This is the first step in a partnership to produce test flights that are truly running and set a route for the deployment of Air Taxi services. The follow up will depend on the results of this study and the subsequent tests of the two parties involved.
Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter said that this new partnership could help commercialize air taxis in Southeast Asia, one of the most densely populated regions in the world. He also said that this service might be able to connect with other forms of public transportation.
“This partnership will enable Volocopter to further develop urban air mobility solutions that are relevant for Southeast Asian commuters so they can decide on their preferred journey option based on their budgets, time constraints, and other needs, in a seamless way,” added Chris Yeo, Head of Grab Ventures.
Volocopter recently tested its electric air taxis in Singapore, working with local Singapore aviation regulators. The company also launched the world’s first full-scale take-off and landing infrastructure called VoloPort in October. It is known that its VoloCity X2 air taxi has a small design that features a massive 18 rotors with aerodynamically shaped rotor beams. Volocopter hopes to commercialize its services by 2022.