Stay away from congestion and fly in one click!

Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “Silicon Valley Insights” (ID: guigudiyixian ), by Maggieyamaggie.

When people are keen on the ever-increasing autopilot and shared travel in the trillion market, Musk and Bezos are competing in the space sci-fi space sci-fi. However, before the departure of the real “Wandering Earth” journey, over our beautiful blue planet, unmanned flying is coming quietly.

Hundreds of companies around the world are actively exploring eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing) unmanned aerial vehicles, trying to solve global urban problems such as traffic congestion and environmental pollution, creating an infinite future air travel experience.

Imagine driving in San Francisco downtown, the most congested area of ​​the Bay Area, with San Jose commuting for two hours, if you are now “flying a drop”, you can not only shorten the time to 15 minutes, but also through Uber The estimated cost is only roughly equivalent to today’s UBERX. Is it very attractive, want to log in to the software immediately, one-click takeoff?

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(Image courtesy of UberElevate official website)

“Playing a flying drop” is no longer a paragraph, what is the difference with the traditional private aircraft mode?

Before UBER started a shared trip, there were already taxis and short-distance car rental services on the market; this round of air taxis defined the user scene as a short-haul customized flight experience, but this private one that appeared in the 1930s What is the difference between aircraft and helicopter services?

1. More efficient than helicopters. VerticalTake-offandLanding (VTOL) vertical take-off and landing aircraft do not require a ground runway and can take off or land vertically in relatively small spaces, such as an empty road on a city road or the top floor of a skyscraper.

Helicopters can also take off in place, but in contrast, they often produce huge noise, environmental pollution, and large-scale promotion is still very expensive. The maximum sound pressure level of VTOLs at a flight altitude of 150 meters is about 62 decibels, which is equivalent to a quarter of the minimum helicopter level on the market, and the noise during flight is almost impossible.I was heard by the human ear.

In addition, the purchase cost of helicopters is on average more than 20 times that of vertical take-off and landing aircraft. Most flying taxis choose electric engines to implement the powertrain, and operating costs are only a fraction of the traditional helicopter powertrain.

A vertical take-off and landing aircraft is different from a helicopter that relies on separate components to keep flying and is relatively safer. If a rotor is abnormal, the aircraft can still land smoothly with the help of the remaining rotors. In the long run, it can automatically drive to reduce manual errors and escort.

2. New energy to defend the blue sky. Traffic emissions in the United States are the leading cause of global warming, with approximately 180 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions coming from traffic pollution, accounting for 26% of total emissions.

Emissions can be divided into two broad categories, one is energy emissions in operation, and the electric engine’s aircraft emissions are zero. One type is life cycle related emissions (the energy required by the aircraft itself and the power required to charge the battery). The efficiency of the electric engine can be 3-4 times that of a conventional internal combustion engine or a turbine engine. Compared to helicopters, electric VTOLs can be used. The energy saved is over 30%.

3. Ordinary people can afford it. According to the UBER study, VTOL’s long-term autopilot scenario, the direct cost per aircraft is close to 50 cents per mile, and the speed of 15 minutes from San Francisco to San Jose’s 60 miles can be as low as 21 dollars (about RMB). 140 yuan). The British Daily Mail estimates that the air vehicle will be sold for 20,000 pounds (about 180,000 yuan), from Heathrow Airport to central London, it will cost less than 25 pounds (about 222 yuan).

4. The fourth internet space. After smart TV and smart phone, the car is defined as the third Internet living space, and the vertical take-off and landing aircraft is flying at low altitude, which can effectively connect with the ground network, thus realizing various user requirements that the mobile phone can realize. It may become the fourth Internet living space. The Internet business model behind advertising, e-commerce, video, games, etc. can replicate the ground business empire in the cloud.

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(Image from the web, copyright belongs to the original author)

The global competition, the US players UBER, CORA pilot in 2020!

Morgan Stanley predicts that the flying auto industry will create $300 billion in 2030The scale of the field will initially transform the market share of some ground transportation, aircraft and public transportation. With the development of technology, it will eventually open a number of new commercial fields, which will grow to 1.5 trillion US dollars in 2040.

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(Data from MorganStanley’s official website)

In the face of such a huge market opportunity, since the 1990s, various industry giants have rushed to arrange air travel.

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(Image data from Deloitte analysis)

Airbus Airbus and Siemens jointly launched CityAirbus, which has completed the Silicon Valley test flight with a speed of 120 km/h and a maximum mileage of 50 km. The fully automatic self-driving aircraft can be launched in all weather conditions.

In terms of traditional car manufacturers, Hyundai Motor Co., Ltd. established the air mobile division to develop its own aircraft and intelligent transportation system; Toyota Motor plans to use the flying car to ignite the 2020 Tokyo Olympic torch; Rolls-Royce announced the launch of its products in 2020; Geely Automobile Leading the German Volocopter company C round 50 million euros. Boeing and Porsche have worked together to accelerate the development of the PAV autonomous manned aircraft.

In terms of Internet companies, Tencent led the German company Lilium’s B round of $90 million, and the Chinese local company Ehang Yihang’s intelligent accumulated financing exceeded $50 million. The two German companies Volocopter and Lilium are defined as the most advanced vertical take-off and landing aircraft companies in Europe, and have completed flight tests in Singapore, Dubai and Finland.

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(The picture is VoLocopter aerial vehicle, picture from Volocopter official website)

The Silicon Valley, which is passionate about innovation, has certainly not fallen. Among them, shared travel giant Uber and KittyHawk focused on the development and manufacture of air vehicles are particularly eye-catching.

UberElevate is advancing the UberAir solution, which is defined as five (four passengers plus pilots) with a top speed of 240 km/h and a maximum mileage of 100 km. At present, Uber has cooperated with NASA and other organizations to develop aircraft. It is scheduled to be officially tested and operated in Dallas, Los Angeles and Melbourne in 2020 and will be promoted globally in 2023.

Unlike traditional ground transportation, once congestion occurs, the itinerary is inevitably delayed, and the VTOL aircraft can freely set travel routes and take off or land at any liftable network location. Uber calls it the Skyport Infrastructure infrastructure and believes that this distributed air network apron will be more cost effective than any existing infrastructure such as railways, bridges, and tunnels.

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(Image courtesy of UberElevate official website)

Uber has been holding UberElevateSummit for three consecutive industry summits. It is expected to combine upstream and downstream partners to reduce costs to ground taxi levels through a large-scale high-frequency sharing economy based on autonomous driving and electric engine technology.

The user scenario envisioned by UberElevate is that the passengers walk or take the Uber to the landing station in accordance with the map instructions displayed by the application. On the way to the boarding gate, there will be a smooth one-time identity confirmation, security check and baggage weighing.

Because VTOLs are not delayed and do not require any ground taxiing, passengers will board the aircraft upon arrival at the aircraft parking area. After a brief pre-flight check, the aircraft will automatically start, rise vertically and then turn to the destination to reach the destination. Passengers on the flight do not need to wear noise-cancelling headphones like a helicopter. The optical radar and sensor functions and technical updates of the rotor blades ensure a relatively smooth ride.

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(Image courtesy of UberElevate official website)

There is no coincidence, Goggle CEO Larry Page’s investment in Kitty Hawk (named after the first flight of human aircraft to Xiaoying Town), the Cora aircraft that cooperates with Boeing has reached a strategic alliance with the New Zealand government and is currently flying in New Zealand. Mass production within five years.

Cora was founded in March 2010. The company’s vision is to create a pure electric self-driving air taxi that allows people to fly freely anytime, anywhere. Its product is defined as a single-rotor double seat with a top speed of 160 km/h and a maximum mileage of 64 km, which is almost silent during the flight.

After 9 years of research and development and testing, Cora believes that its products have unique advantages: 1. Free take-off and landing; 2. Safe and convenient, free pilot training and management through automatic driving; 3. Clean and environmentally friendly, pure electric engine provide energy. In terms of safety, Cora uses a separate rotor, and the failure of one rotor does not affect the operation of other rotors. In addition, the aircraft is equipped with three flight computers, and if one of them is not working, the aircraft can still navigate effectively and reach its destination.

Cora does not plan to sell aircraft to the public, but instead provides an air taxi or shared travel service. In view of New Zealand’s geographical attributes and government support, Cora is expected to be the first to enter the market as an aerial taxi, providing a reference for the development of other companies.

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(Image courtesy of Cora’s official website)

Commercial prospects and core challenges – technology, regulation and public acceptance

McKinsey Consulting predicted in the NASA City Air Travel Study that the industry could turn a profit in 2028. It is expected that the cost of a single trip will reach 30 US dollars (about 210 yuan) in 2030.

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(Data from McKinsey analysis)<