Will Autonomous Flying Cars Dominate the Future?
The growing market for autonomous flying cars, also known as eVTOL aircraft, air taxis or personal air vehicles, could eventually amount to nearly $1.5 trillion by 2040, according to an extensive analysis from Morgan Stanley Research.
At Able Body Shop - Midtown in Anchorage, AK we know that cars will eventually take to the air, in order to save money on things like roadways, so we thought you might be interested in this blog as we try to predict the future.
Morgan Stanley’s research team, led by senior analyst Adam Jonas said that the development of the UAM [urban air mobility] ecosystem is extremely long-dated and will require up-front capital allocation, research, testing and development in the short term.
The major players in eVTOL aircraft include Boeing, which is working with Aurora Flight Sciences, to unveil a flying-car prototype in 2019 and Airbus, which is heavily involved in air taxi ventures including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Vahana in San Jose, CA and Voom in both Brazil and Mexico. Late last year, Airbus and Audi revealed a scaled-down version of eVTOL aircraft in the form of an electric-powered, vertical-takeoff-and-landing air vehicle at a drone industry trade held in the Netherlands.
A wide array of other startups are jumping into the eVTOL race as well, including Uber, Opener, Kitty Hawk, Joby Aviation, VerdeGo Aero, Terrafugia, the Dutch venture PAL-V, China’s EHang, Germany’s Volocopter and Lilium, Switzerland’s Passenger Drone, Slovakia’s AeroMobil and Japan’s Cartivator Project. Even high-end carmakers Porsche, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce are currently working on eVTOL aircraft.
Morgan Stanley stated that flying cars could accompany the delivery drone operations that companies such as Amazon and Wing (a Google spin-out) are considering. Shipping is Amazon’s second-largest cost and flying cars could reduce delivery costs in both rural and traffic-congested urban areas, according to the report.
Passenger travel is expected to account for the majority of the market in 2040--$851 billion in Morgan Stanley’s base-case scenario. Freight transportation would equal as much as $413 billion of the market, with $12 billion derived from military and defense applications. The report also claims that another $198 billion will be invested for enabling technologies and services, as well as batteries to autonomous control software.
Morgan Stanley cautioned that the explosion in the flying-car market would have to be supported by favorable currents in technology as well as an agreeable regulatory environment. The key challenges will include improving energy storage density in next-generation batteries; eliminating noise and using artificial intelligence to meet precise safety standards for self-driving aircraft.
Sources: Morgan Stanley and nytimes.com