Porsche, Boeing to develop urban VTOL aircraft
The companies want to explore the market for premium aerial vehicles.
Porsche and Boeing have formed a unique partnership to explore possible market opportunities for "urban air mobility."
A photo accompanying the press release shows a small electric VTOL aircraft hovering above a helipad atop a tall building in a city. The concept meshes with other design studies and prototypes that are under development by various companies.
"Porsche is looking to enhance its scope as a sports car manufacturer by becoming a leading brand for premium mobility," says Porsche sales and marketing head Detlev von Platen. "In the longer term, this could mean moving into the third dimension of travel."
A Porsche Consulting study forecasts that the urban air mobility market will begin to take off after 2025, transporting passengers around cities more quickly than cars and ultimately achieving lower costs.
There are still many challenges the industry must overcome, including the need for revamped air traffic control regulations to accommodate fully autonomous aircraft that have no trained pilot on board. In the meantime, human-piloted eVTOL aircraft could still find a small niche as an alternative to helicopters in big cities.