Volocopter announces that it had just secured funding for its latest roundup. With a total of $55 million, the company plans to pave the way to make flying taxis a transportation service standard in China.
The funding for this round is primarily lead by Geely, a Chinese company affiliated with Volvo and Lotus, which handles most of the manufacturing facilities for both companies. Daimler, which is another big player in the international automotive industry, also provided part of the funding, with a stake at getting the self-driving vehicle technologies implemented further for public transportation.
Volocopter was founded in 2012. This German aircraft manufacturer is currently known for developing the very first fully electric VTOL vehicle in the world. The company’s main mission is to manufacture and deploy these types of aircraft as public transportation vehicles. Basically, it wants to develop a sort of air taxi economy for the entire world.
To that end, the company announced earlier in 2018 its hopes to have a self-driving air taxi economy in as early as five years. Indeed, the company still maintains its previous claims, as it now plans to use the recently acquired $55 million to launch an official flying taxi business in China within the next three years. Hopefully, to develop its fourth-generation air taxis further, as well as to test them out at smaller scale, such as the bustling urban settings of Singapore, or in Hong Kong.
Of course, Volocopter is not the first company determined to develop a personal air transport economy in the next decade. Several other competitors, particularly ones that are already firmly established in the public transport sector, such as Uber, are currently racing towards becoming one of the first companies to claim the yet-to-be-established brand new air public transport sector.
Of course with a deployment and establishment period that is theoretically as early as 2022, Volocopter seems to be quite up ahead with Ehang. Though, we’d still have to see to believe whether air taxis will indeed be common in the near future.