This air taxi uses 5G to ‘see’ around corners

5G digital

(Mika Baumeister, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Douglas Broom, Senior Writer, Formative Content


As an answer to urban congestion, vertical take-off electric drones could soon provide a sustainable way to move people and cargo around our cities. Now the most advanced multicopter is adding 5G capabilities to allow it to fly further and more safely.

German start-up Volocopter, which made the world’s first manned, fully electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft in 2011, has just announced plans for a new version. The VoloCity is designed as an urban flying taxi and will carry two people over a range of 35km at 110kph between specially built Voloports.

 

The drone-like air taxi resembles a small helicopter with 18 battery-powered rotors. Users will be able to summon one to their nearest hub using a smartphone app. Brian Krzanich, CEO of software firm CDK Global, flew in one last year and described the experience as: “the best flight I have ever had.”

Volocopter was named as one of the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Technology Pioneers. CEO Florian Reuter told a Forum workshop that 5G capability would allow Volocopter to ‘see’ round corners, avoid obstacles and download flight data to enhance performance and safety.

A VoloCity vehicle
The VoloCity is designed a flying taxi
Image: Volocopter

Certified to fly

Volocopter received its airworthiness certificate in Germany in 2016 and this year the Finnish authorities certified it too. A demonstration flight at Helsinki airport proved it could safely operate under conventional air traffic control.

Its air taxi capabilities have been demonstrated with trials in Dubai and Singapore, cities where flying taxis could make a contribution to easing congestion. The first Voloport was unveiled in Singapore recently.

What is the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils?

A giant brainstorm in Dubai, the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils takes place from 3-4 November 2019. It brings together more than 600 members of the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Future Councils – leaders from academia, business, government and civil society.

The discussions will promote innovative thinking to address the biggest challenges we face, as well as emerging or cross-cutting topics related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Volocopter co-founder Alexander Zosel told Reuters the company plans to have a piloted version of VoloCity in commercial service within two to three years, with a fully autonomous air taxi entering service within five to 10 years.
An imagined scene of a cycling accident, with someone called a VoloCity for help
The multicopter has been used in an exercise simulating emergency response to an accident on the ground
Image: Volocopter

The Volocopter recently showed its potential for use by the emergency services, taking part in a medical rescue mission, ferrying an emergency doctor to treat a casualty in an exercise with Germany’s ADAC air rescue service.

The company recently unveiled a new autonomous freight version, the VoloDrone, capable of lifting a 200kg payload 40km. Volocopter says using 5G will allow the VoloDrone to operate beyond urban areas on missions like crop spraying, surveying and delivering bulky items.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The EU Commission vies to screen Chinese investment in Europe

Diana in Vietnam

Climate change: Another year of record gas emissions, warns UN meteorological agency

INTERVIEW: UN’s top official in North Korea foresees ‘surge’ in humanitarian aid

Challenges remain in DPRK despite ‘slight’ improvements in health, wellbeing: UNICEF

UN agency ramps up effort to counter growing nuclear threat from cyberspace

As India’s lockdown ends, a mental health crisis is just beginning

First-ever global conference of national counter-terrorism chiefs will strengthen cooperation, build ‘resilient’ States, says top UN official

We should treat data as a natural resource. Here’s why

This Dutch company makes environmentally-friendly paint

Global migration, by the numbers: who migrates, where they go and why

Scientists now think air pollution is fuelling violent crime

UN human rights chief warns of women’s rights complacency

Cyprus banks under scrutiny

Egypt is building one of the world’s largest solar parks

Burkina Faso: Dozens killed in clashes, UN chief condemns attacks

EU Budget 2019: focus on the young, on migration and innovation

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

Japanese banks to move their European HQ from London to Frankfurt after Brexit

Syrian Constitutional Committee a ‘sign of hope’: UN envoy tells Security Council

India’s economy is an ‘elephant that is starting to run’, according to the IMF

Why is the EU launching a doomed policy in stopping immigrant waves? What are the real targets?

Health Education, is it a necessity?

Internet of Things: a Force for Good or Evil?

Africa’s Sahel must be a top priority for UN peacebuilding efforts, says commission

An all-out fight for the EU budget

From Kenya to China, here’s why countries should start working together on AI

Gender Equality and medicine in the 21st Century: we want the fair share

Top global firms commit to tackling inequality by joining Business for Inclusive Growth coalition

Matthias in Canada

India is now the world’s 5th largest economy

Can Kiev make face to mounting economic problems and social unrest?

The challenge to be a good healthcare professional

What next for Europe? Three (completely) different Davos views

UN Human Rights Council stands firm on LGBTI violence, Syria detainees and Philippines ‘war on drugs’

What’s happening to Greenland will affect the whole world – and our leaders need to understand why

Schengen: new rules for temporary checks at national borders

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2019 review highlights that tackling climate change can be a driver for growth and jobs

What happens after you recover from coronavirus? 5 questions answered

Mozambique pledging conference hopes to soften devastating blow of back-to-back cyclones

How the media can be a meaningful stakeholder in the quest to meet the SDGs

Mental Health in times of a pandemic: what can each individual do to lessen the burden?

Migration policy affects attractiveness of OECD countries to international talent

Apparently the EU Digital Single Market passes necessarily from China’s Digital Silk Road

Parliament names radio studio after journalists murdered in December attack

UN relief official in Yemen condemns ‘horrific’ attack on passenger buses

ECB’s Draghi favours a cheaper euro to serve all Eurozone countries

UN highlights need to solve growing burden of forcibly displaced Africans

Lagarde: Keep feeding the banks cut down wages and food subsidies

Central banking in times of complexity

How to unleash the enormous power of global healthcare data

Why Commissioner Rehn wants us all to work more for less

It’s time we took a seat ‘at your table’: Guterres calls on world youth to keep leading climate emergency response

Industry 4.0: Championing Europe’s fourth industrial revolution

Commission moves to ensure supply of personal protective equipment in the European Union

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

Non-performing loans: banks need to mitigate the risk of potential losses

How secure is blockchain?

Is Universal Health Coverage really available for all in the European Union?

Why Microsoft is a regular to Almunia’s

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s