A leading-German car manufacturer has announced that it has invested €25m into a firm that specializes in producing 'flying taxis'. Daimler AG is one of a number of organizations who has decided to invest in German start-up company Volocopter.
Volocopter has garnered significant attention in Germany due to its futuristic and innovative aim of producing and developing electric 'flying taxis' which would completely revolutionize the transportation system in the European powerhouse.
A spokesman for Volocopter confirmed the investment and added that Daimler has now subsequently joined a consortium which includes high-profile technology investor Lukasz Gadowski, who sits on the supervisory board of Delivery Hero - and a number of other technological firms.
Volocopter has disclosed that it is currently developing a five-seat vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) electric vehicle which will be specifically designed and aimed to penetrate the taxi industry. In addition to this, it added that it will carry out a number of initial demonstrations in the fourth-quarter of 2017.
However, there are a number of domestic potential competitors for Volocopter to contend with. Some of its rivals include fellow German start-ups Lilium Jet and eVolo, as well as the US-based Terrafugia and Californian-based Joby Aviation, whilst renowned commercial aircraft and helicopter manufacturer Airbus is also developing a single seat 'flying car'.
The emergence of flying taxis is not isolated to Europe. In Dubai, the RTA (Road and Transport Authority) has already begun testing its innovative autonomous 'flying taxis' which it aims to deploy next year. It revealed the concept model at the World Government Summit in Dubai in February of this year.
However, the surprise at the speed in which the project has accelerated has shocked many. Last month, the RTA released video footage of the autonomous flying taxis being tested successfully at a location in the UAE. A spokesman for the RTA expects the service to be made available early next year. The one-seater 'flying taxi' will pick you up and drop you off a landing zone close to your destination with the help of newly created ground-control teams.
It's all part of the Government of Dubai's vision and mission which is to make Dubai the 'smartest and happiest city in the world'.