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New mobility service in the sky: Air Taxi
New mobility service in the sky: Air Taxi
From self-driving technology to dornes and personal aircraft, the scope of mobility industry is rapidly expanding. Then, how will the mobility industry change our lives? Today, we will take a look at a new mobility service using the sky road, Air Taxi.
The sky is open everywhere! Needless to say, in the sky you don’t feel traffic jams like you would on a road. Then why don’t you try to divide the demand for movement that is overflowing on the ground wiht yhe sky? The mobility service that emerged from this idea is ‘air taxi’. Air taxi is a term emphasizing the passenger transport serivce aspect in Air Mobility of the Future (AAM). AAM flies in the sky and carries people and supplies. Here, the term ‘air taxi’ is used to emphasize a service that moves people like a taxi.
Air taxis are capable of vertical take-off and landing without runways and use aircraft that move using electricity as a power source. Therefore, it is economical and eco friendly because ther is no need to build an airport like an airplane. It also focuses on city to city and regional connections, filling service voids in the existing aviation industry, which focuses on country to country connecitons.
Currently, no country has commercialized air taxis. However, France is planning the Paris Olympics in 2024 and Japan is planning the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo as the AAM test stage. It is expected that AAM and air taxi services will be commercialized in the near future. Then, shall we look at the main trends of air taxis?
Complete car industry still cautious about air taxis
The finished car industry is interested in air taxis but they are still cautious. Excluding Hyundai Motor Company, which has estabilished an independent Corporation, ‘Supernal’ and is conducting its own development and Honda, which is conducting its own development by utilizing the know-how of its aviation subsidary ‘Honda Aircraft Company’, most companies are interested in existing aircraft manufacturers and startups. I chose to enter the market in the form of investment and partnership. Why?
In order to commercialize air vehicles for air taxis, it is necessary to develop high performance batteries. From the point of view of a finished vehicle brand that has accumulated battery development and production know hosw through the popularization of electric vehicles even though the development difficulty is high, it worth the challenge. However, huge airframe development costs and blank traffic regulations are factors preventing market entry. Therefore, finished vehicle brands are seeking stable market entry and lowering business burden in the long term through partnerships and investments.
Funding through major startups and SPAC mergers
The second trend is ‘SPAC mergers’. SPAC means a paper company estabilished fort he purpose of acquiring merging unlisted companies. They secure large investments in exchange for acquiring privately held companies with great growth potential. Unlisted companies can enjoy listing effects without compilated corporate listing procedures through SPAC mergers. In addition, funds held by SPAC’s can be used legally.
As the global economy became difficult due to the spread of COVID 19, many startups experienced difficulties in securing investment and listing. Air taxi startups that declared the time to commercialize the aircraft around 2025 were short of both time and Money. Accordingly, major air taxi startups have overcome the crisis by merging with SPACs. During the year of 2021, more than 5 air taxi startups have promoted SPAC mergers. This has raised funds for commercialization.
Regional Air Mobility (RAM) Emergence of air taxi concept
A final trend is the emergence of regional air mobility (RAM). The air taxi is a term that emphasizes the passenger transport service aspect of AAM. AAM can be subdivided into urban air mobility (UAM) and regional air mobility (RAM) according to the scope of operation.
In fact, regional mobility is a relatively recent concept. The early air mobility industry was better known as urban mobility. It was difficult to increase the flight distance due to battery problems, so short range aircraft were mainly developed. Lilium and Hyundai Motor Company broket his industry trend.
In 2019, Lilium tested a distance of up to 300 km with the ‘Lilium Jet’ which applied a ducted fan propulsion system. Hyundai Motor Company unveiled ‘Project N’ in May of 2022, demonstrating the possibility of developing a RAM body using hydrogen. It is strengthening its position in the market with a differentiated strategy of targeting RAM.
Finally, we have to accept that the air taxis break down the constraints of space and time and open the era of 3D Movement.
In addition to the automotive industry, the Halla Group carries out activities in many other areas. These include, for example, shipbuilding, education and sports.
One of the largest brands in the automotive supply industry is Mando Aftermarket, which is part of the South Korean Halla Corporation Europe.
This event was organized by one of the largest purchasing groups in the world called Nexus, with which we cooperate.