Experts from across the industry of aviation, aerospace, and drones joined at the Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo in Kansas City on March 28 to discuss the future of the flying taxi market.
The panelists included Mark Zannoni, research director for International Data Corporation, Jonathan McGory, general counsel for the Cleveland Airport System, and Bill Goodwin, VP of Policy of AirMap, a Santa-Monica based drone airspace integration software company.
Key takeaways from the panel:
Flying Taxis are happening.
Zannoni stated that the idea of flying cars “is not a new concept, and now we’ve got the technology. It’s pretty feasible”. His comment is supported by numerous examples, such as Ehang’s 184 first flight in February and the Uber Elevate Initiative.
There are complications.
Flying cars are not without their own difficulties – infrastructure, public acceptance, and policy are also issues that demand consideration. The Federal Aviation Administration, the domain which controls the National Airspace System, is working in conjunction with vertical transport manufacturers to work on integration into airspace. That’s also where companies like AirMap come in. AirMap now has a partnership with the Kansas Department of Transportation to provide air traffic management services for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS’s).
There is real business potential.
A Porsche Consulting Study estimates that by 2035, the personal urban airborne transportation industry will be valued at $32 billion. Other studies cite similar figures, and the research and analysis by Deloitte and others substantiate the claims of the Porsche study.