Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Volocopter 2X drone taxi for clean urban mobilty eocosystem

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The Volocopter 2X drone taxi is a German two-seat, optionally-piloted, multirotorelectrichelicopter, a personal air vehicle designed and produced by Volocopter GmbH of Bruchsal, introduced at the AERO Friedrichshafen airshow in 2017. The aircraft is supplied complete and ready-to-fly. Volocopter was formerly known as E-volo.

Volocopter 2X drone taxi
Volocopter 2X drone taxi

The Volocopter 2X features a flight time of 30 minutes and a maximum range of 17 miles, though Volocopter says the batteries can be quickly swapped to compensate for those numbers until the tech improves. This makes Volocopter 2X one of the top 10 drone taxi.

The Volocopter drone taxi uses four IMUs, or inertial movement units, which constantly measure and determine the vehicle’s attitude and positioning during flight. The battery system is split up into nine discrete packs, with each one powering a pair of rotors, so that the vehicle can still fly if one or two battery packs fail.

Volocopter flies for the first time in a European city

The GPS and navigation systems of the Volocopter flying drone are dual-redundant. Worst comes to worst, there’s a ballistic parachute in the top of the Volocopter that will deploy, letting the air taxi return to the ground with its passengers intact.

Volocopter relies on a system of ‘redundancies’ to ensure its safety, meaning there are many propellers, batteries, and motors to compensate in case one goes out.

Volocopter is developing autonomous electrical Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, e.g. the VoloCity, to offer air taxi services in the megacities of this world as an addition to existing transport options.

Recently Volocopter performed a public flight over Marina Bay Reservoir in Singapore demonstrating the maturity of its technology. A full scale VoloPort prototype on display allowed visitors to experience what UAM could feel like in the future. This bears testimony to Volocopter’s holistic approach to UAM as an ecosystem. Last October, Volocopter presented the demonstrator of its VoloDrone, marking the company’s expansion into the logistics, agriculture, public services and construction industries.

VoloDrone Prototype
VoloDrone Prototype

This year, by the end of February, Volocopter and DB Schenker today announced an investment by the global logistics service provider into the pioneer of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) as Volocopter extends its Series C funding to now total € 87 million. Besides DB Schenker, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, TransLink Capital join the round as new investors, existing investor Lukasz Gadowski and btov also invested.

The funding will go towards the certification of the VoloCity, hiring more industry experts, and a second generation VoloDrone to ensure commercialization of the heavy-lift cargo drone product. To date Volocopter has raised total funding of € 122 million.

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