A German flying taxi manufacturer Volocopter and NOEM, the smart and sustainable regional development in northwest Saudi Arabia, have established a joint venture (JV) company to design, implement, and operate the world’s first bespoke public vertical mobility system in NEOM.
NEOM is a $500 billion sustainable regional development that advertises itself as a city of the future, rich with wind and solar energy resources to support its goal to be fully powered by renewable energy projects.
Air taxi and vertical logistics services will be fully integrated with the overall multi-modal and zero-emission public transit system in NEOM. According to Volocopter’s press statement, the joint venture will be the sole operator of initial public transit routes across NEOM while enabling an open eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) ecosystem for vertical mobility services, including logistics, emergency response, and tourism.
The collaboration between NEOM and Volocopter will lead to designing and developing a truly three-dimensional public transportation system, advancing the technical, regulatory, and infrastructure solutions for eVTOL operations across NEOM. They will offer vertical mobility services as an integral part of NEOM’s multi-modal and zero-emissions public mobility system, providing seamless connectivity for passengers and goods.
The initial order of Volocopter for NEOM consists of 10 VoloCity passengers and 5 VoloDrone logistics aircraft to support early activation of flight operations. In addition to these two aircraft, Volocopter’s range of aircraft so far includes the fixed-wing VoloConnect aircraft, which is designed for suburb-to-city commutes. The joint venture will scale up its activities from the beginning of 2022 to incubate urban air mobility (UAM) in the region and seed a vertical mobility ecosystem. The partnership delivers on NEOM’s mission to be a global living lab for future mobility and a center of excellence for eVTOL innovation and industry.
“The partnership with NEOM and the new JV we are creating together is going to be an exciting journey,” said Christian Bauer, Chief Commercial Officer, Volocopter. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be an essential part of designing and operating a completely new UAM ecosystem from the ground up without the constraint of legacy infrastructure or regulation, and as pioneers in the industry, Volocopter is honored to be the trusted partner to contribute to NEOM’s ambitious vision.”