For eVTOL Vehicle Developers
City by city forecasts of vehicle fleets for five use cases:
Medical and Emergency Operations and Services
The transportation of critically injured passengers, as well as blood, organs, isotopes, and medical supplies, figures among the first use cases of UAM. Hospitals and medical facilities are already using helicopters for such tasks. The introduction of smaller, quieter, safer, greener, less expensive eVTOL vehicles—with a much faster response time when every second counts—will likely expand aviation rescue operations into new routes currently off limits to aviation due to community objections and noise limitations.
Airport Shuttle Services
Tying city centers and vertiports to major or regional airports will become a high-value application of UAM. A well-run airport will look towards capitalizing UAM to maximize the utility and convenience of its facilities. Airports are the logical point of ingress for eVTOLs into an urban transportation network. Early on, airports will be the only locations with ATM systems required for low volume flights. However, as UAM becomes more prevalent, airports will be required to build out vertiport facilities, battery charging stations, hydrogen cell recharging, and people moving systems, as well as isolating the UAM activity from, and integrating passenger flow, with conventional airport operations.
On-Demand Air Taxi Services
On-demand air taxi services have the potential to radically improve urban mobility. The time lost in daily commutes, or getting from one location to another, is substantial. According to Uber Elevate, just as skyscrapers allowed cities to use limited land more efficiently, urban air transportation will use three-dimensional airspace to alleviate transportation congestion on the ground. A network of small, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically should enable rapid, reliable transportation between suburbs and cities and, ultimately, between vertiports placed strategically throughout cities and their metropolitan regions.
Office and Corporate Campus Services
Business aviation is a global US$100 billion per year industry, and business aircraft are tools that strengthen or leverage the impact of a company’s intangible assets, including intellectual property, executive and key employee talent. Top executives utilizing business aircraft get stuck in the same traffic as everyone else on their way to the airport. Corporate flight departments will complement the existing fleet with electric or hybrid vehicles capable of moving an executive team quickly from the corporate campus to an airport, or to meetings in the city center.
Regional Air Transport Services
Many city pairs are at an awkward distance: not far apart enough to justify a commercial flight, yet distant enough for a time-consuming drive. Vancouver to Seattle, for instance. Los Angeles to San Diego. Or Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia. Some eVTOL manufacturers are investing in longer-range vehicles that will gain altitude from a vertiport under electric power and transition to vertical flight using lift from fixed wings. These vehicles will have the range and capability to fly point-to-point from one location to another over distances of several hundred kilometers.