Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler has invested in flying taxi start-up Volocopter.
Volocopter is currently working on developing a vertical take off and landing vehicle (VTOL) that could seat up to five-seat individuals. Daimler is the second major automaker to make an investment in a personal aviation company recently, with Volvo parent company Geely purchasing flying car start-up Terrafugia in early July.
Volocopter, a German company located near Mercedes’ home city of Stuttgart, wants to create quiet, emissions-free, flying taxis that could circumvent traffic congestion in busy cities. The company says Daimler’s $30 million investment will “speed up the introduction process of the Volocopter serial model and conquer the market for flying air taxis.”
“The strong financial commitment of our new investors is a signal as well as proof of the growing confidence in the newly emerging market for electrically driven VTOLs put to use as personal air taxis,“ Managing Director Florian Reuter said in a statement. “We deliberately sought a mix of investors with strategic and entrepreneurial backgrounds and were able to implement this perfectly with Daimler and (Delivery Hero board member) Lukasz Gadowski.”
Volocopter plans on carrying out a public demonstration of its electric heli-taxi in Dubai later this year. Dubai has been selected as a test site due to the city’s desire to automate 25 percent of its public transportation initiatives by the year 2030.