How flying taxis could go mainstream

February 26, 2024

Susan Shaheen, UC Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center Co-Director discusses electric vertical-takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and advanced air mobility (AAM) with Business Insider.

There are two software categories that fall under eVTOL vehicles(link is external), Susan Shaheen, a professor in residence at the University of California, Berkeley, and a codirector of the university’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, told BI. There’s consumer-facing software such as digital apps people can use to book a flight and back-end software for operations, aircraft control, and air-traffic management. The latter will “play a critical role in ensuring safety and efficient operations,” Shaheen said.

Seywald thinks the industry will start scaling around 2026 and that by 2028 or 2029, the average person will be able to afford and start using this mode of transportation. Until then, Shaheen said, AAM businesses have the opportunity to learn from other shared-mobility industries, such as ride-hailing companies

Part of getting customers to use flying taxis will hinge on addressing social barriers including safety, equity, affordability, and convenience, Shaheen said. In part, service providers can approach this by developing and using Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible consumer apps.

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Business Insider