It is now a few years that I have seen news on flying cars, actually flying taxis, being just around the corner. There have been a few trials in Dubai and Singapore (the former leveraging on the desert the latter on the harbour to stssy out of the way of densely populated areas) and several promises of flying taxis initiating public service. In Dubai there was the expectation of service for the Expo 2020 (shifted to 2021) but it did not materialise.
In spite of the promise status of flying taxis there seems to be a consensus that by the end of this decade Advanced Air Mobility, AAM, will be a way of life in many places.
A recent report by McKinsey foresees a significant market for AAM (look at the graphic), to reach 3 B$ worldwide (compare this with the 33B$ of commercial airlines in 2019 -2020 and 2021 have suffered from the pandemic). That would represent a tremendous growth. The report foresees that the average travel time for AAM will be around 18′ (commercial airlines have an average flight time over 2 hours). This is not surprising since AAM is targeting local traffic as a substitute of cars, and even less surprising considering that AAM is expected to be electric powered.
The number of flights per day, per Operator, is expected to reach 20,000 with a fleet size exceeding 1,000 vehicles (a large commercial airlines is around 2,000 with 800 airplanes in the fleet). Interesting is also the figure associated to the number of pilots, 4,500 (versus 10,500 for the airlines), indicating that by 2030 most AAM will still be operated by a certified pilot, not by fully autonomous vehicles.
I found the video below quite interesting in addressing several aspect of AAM and the expected evolution. I remain a bit skeptical on such a quick uptake of AAM but I am no expert and my feelings are rooted in the past (predictions) rather than in the future… I guess that in the next 3 years the picture will become clear.