We Might Have Pilotless Air Taxis In S’pore In 5 to 10 Years

Image: Volocopter

You might be thinking, hahaha, this writer siao lah, Pilotless Air Taxi in 10 years, you think S’pore so high tech meh?

And this is when I remind you that the iPhone was introduced only 12 years ago.

Suddenly in the past 10 years we went from sending SMSes worrying about our SMS limit, to not giving a hoot about data and spamming video chats and GIFS over WhatsApp.

Or I can also tell you that Uber was only founded in 2009, which is 10 years ago.

Suddenly you feel very old, eh? I know I did while researching to write for that, cause now I’m crying.

Image: Giphy

And the next 10 years is going to be even crazier for a simple reason: growth in technology is more than likely going to be exponential, which means it’ll grow faster and faster instead of a constant pace. (Look up Moore’s Law if you don’t believe me.)

So anyway,

German Startup, Volocopter, To Conduct Test Flight For Electric Helicopters

Right now, Volocopter is working with S’pore regulators in order to conduct a test.

Why S’pore, you might ask. It’s cause we’re the most open to the technology, alongside Dubai and Germany.

Image: Volocopter

Their goal is to make it commercial, so that it can offer short-hop flights for the price of a limousine ride. I know what you’re going to ask—I checked, it’s the range of S$50 to S$90 per hour. Though of course there are more expensive ones.

According to what the co-founder Alexander Zosel told Reuters, they are targetting business customers, who might take from airport to the business centre, and also tourists, who might fly from Marina Bay to Sentosa.

So you’re saying, this is only for high-SES people?

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Well… Maybe… But one can dream right?

Over 1,000 Test Flights So Far

Image: Volocopter

It’s not clear where these flights were made, but of these, some were piloted by humans and others by remote control or autonomously on pre-determined paths.

You heard that right: they’ve already done some pilotless ones already.

But of course, those are tests. The first commercial flights will still be piloted, just in case. Though that leaves room only for one passenger.

Zosel also said that he hopes to transition to fully-autonomous flying in 5 to 10 years. Just for comparison, we also have driverless buses coming in by 2022.

And to that, I can only clap and celebrate even though I have no idea how everything works.

Image: Giphy

So you might ask, what about the Changi drone hoo haa?

Other unnamed firms have also wanted to bring air taxis to the mass market, but were scared of the lack of regulation and infrastructure, and safety concerns.

But, baby steps, my friend.

Only with ambitions then can one reach the goals never seen by humanity!

If there is no path, then you create one yourself!

I look forward to the future where we take air taxis like we take escalators. Or maybe air taxis will be the PMDs of the future forcing us to write 10 articles each week on air taxi accidents, I don’t know.