Boeing has paired up with Porche in an effort to “explore” the idea of developing a driverless flying vehicle that could transport people in urban settings.
The aerospace company said in a press release on October 10 that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Porsche “to explore the premium urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace”.
As part of the deal, Boeing, Porsche and Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing subsidiary, are developing a concept for a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (VTOL), an aircraft that can can hover, take off, and land vertically.
“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, a division of aerospace manufacturer Boeing, exploring urban air mobility.
The companies say they 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.
Last year, rival company Airbus teamed up with Audi to launch an autonomous flying taxi at Drone Week in Amsterdam which can both fly and drive. The two companies had announced their partnership earlier in 2018 in an effort to build and commercialise a flying robo-taxi service.