Blueflite, a new eVTOL company developing mid-size autonomous UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), has awarded a mobility testing grand from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Blueflite’s mid-size UAV concept
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, an organization responsible for business development, job awareness and community development in collaboration with the state government, has created an effort to accelerate the development of electric mobility technologies in the State. In partnership with the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrifications and the Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium, the organization has now provided over $100,000 USD investment matches with Blueflite to develop its aircraft.
Founded in 2018, Blueflite is developing a ‘workhorse drone’ for affordable deliveries, naming its full product as a ‘drone based logistics platform’. Blueflite envisions its product providing affordable, cost-effective deliveries of items like as prepared food, groceries, spare parts for energy and maritime industries, and re-supply and other logistics operations in remote locations. In particular, Blueflite claims that its aircraft could reduce costs by a factor of 5 as compared to current road-based solutions for many of these last mile services.
Said James McClearen, CTO of Blueflite, “What we are building here is cutting-edge robotics technology to enable the transport of goods via drone. It combines advanced AI software, novel materials, and lightweight design. Blueflite’s technology went through a several year development cycle and is increasingly seeing commercialization.”
Dr Noppel, CEO of Blueflite, commented, “Michigan is a premier location for young companies like us to scale, commercialize and grow mobility technologies. Our technology is ready as the drone industry is gaining in momentum.”
Watch a video of Blueflite’s small-scale prototype in flight below:
Why it’s important: As eVTOL and autonomous aerial mobility technologies edge closer to reality, some U.S states are taking action to ensure that they are at the forefront of this new economic industry. Notably, companies in other countries such as EHang in China, and Germany’s Volocopter are beginning to develop these new technologies, meaning that parts of the U.S government would do well to begin laying this groundwork. Blueflite’s product, while in early development, has a well thought-out design that remains realistic for near-future commercialization while still providing excellent function and clear economic value.
Source // Blueflite, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
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