Porsche and Boeing signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the premium urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace.
With this partnership, both companies will leverage their market strengths and insights to study the future of premium personal urban air mobility vehicles.
"Porsche is looking to enhance its scope as a sports car manufacturer by becoming a leading brand for premium mobility. In the longer term, this could mean moving into the third dimension of travel," says Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG. "We are combining the strengths of two leading global companies to address a potential key market segment of the future."
As part of the partnership, the companies will create an international team to address various aspects of urban air mobility, including analysis of the market potential for premium vehicles and possible use cases.
Boeing, Porsche and Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences are also developing a concept for a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle. Engineers from both companies, as well as Porsche subsidiaries Porsche Engineering Services GmbH and Studio F.A. Porsche, will implement and test a prototype.
"This collaboration builds on our efforts to develop a safe and efficient new mobility ecosystem, and provides an opportunity to investigate the development of a premium urban air mobility vehicle with a leading automotive brand," said Steve Nordlund, Vice President and General Manager of Boeing NeXt, an organization that is laying the foundation for a next-generation mobility ecosystem in which autonomous and piloted vehicles can safely coexist. "Porsche and Boeing together bring precision engineering, style and innovation to accelerate urban air mobility worldwide."
A 2018 study by Porsche Consulting forecasts that the urban air mobility market will pick up speed after 2025.
Earlier this year, Boeing conducted an inaugural test flight of an aerial car prototype that could accommodate two to four passengers and fly up to 50 miles.
The test flight was within months of Airbus showcasing a prototype of an autonomous passenger vehicle in partnership with Volkswagen’s premium brand, Audi, that has the ability to both fly and drive.
Transport and technology companies across the globe are stepping up development of drones and other machinery to add more flexible options for people and goods in increasingly congested city centers. German startup Volocopter GmbH, backed by Daimler AG and the Mercedes-Benz maker’s biggest shareholder Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, recently completed a test flight in Stuttgart with a prototype that looks like a mix between a helicopter and a drone.