Modern technology’s solution to traffic congestion and limited road space – air taxis – are set to undergo trial testing during the second half of 2019 in Singapore as announced by German aerial vehicle manufacturer Volocopter at the Autonomy and the Urban Mobility Summit in Paris last October 18 (Thursday).
The trials will verify whether the electrically-powered air vehicles, known as Volocopters, are suitable for flight operations in Singapore’s urban setting.
Singapore to Test Air Taxis by 2019
The Volocopters, which look like helicopters, can take off and land vertically. They are also designed to carry two people for distances of not more than 30 km.
The trials are sanctioned by Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and the Economic Development Board (EDB).
It’s interesting to note that Volocopters can be operated with varying levels of autonomy: either fully autonomous with a pilot on the controls, or remote-controlled from the ground. The purpose of the test flights is to determine which mode best suits the urban environment of Singapore.
Moreover, the trials will explore the feasible routes for air taxis in Singapore, and how this type of service can be integrated in an air traffic management system according to Volocopter.
Other key factors to be considered are Singapore’s humidity, the country’s tropical climate, and landing locations for these air vehicles.
Public demonstration flights are scheduled to take place after successful completion of the trials.
With its trial flights slated for next year, the EDB is throwing its support for the Volocopter in setting up a local product design and engineering team. The company is also looking to partner with real-estate developers, mobility providers, and businesses in Singapore.