Porsche and Boeing have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the field of premium personal air mobility. Does this mean they are jointly developing a flying sports car? It looks like they are developing a new type of urban air mobility (UAM) vehicle.
This vehicle will likely be powered by electricity according to some reports. Porsche and Boeing will develop a concept for a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle. A 2018 study by Porsche Consulting forecasts that the urban air mobility market will pick up speed after 2025. The study also indicates that urban air mobility solutions will transport passengers more quickly and efficiently than current conventional means of terrestrial transport, at a lower cost and with greater flexibility.
The agreement between the two companies is nonexclusive. This means that they will find ways to work together but are not bonded by the agreement to work with other entities. The partnership also says that 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.”
The product from the result of this collaboration will not be for the mass markets. The initial cost of these UAM will be on the premium side. The initial cost per seat-mile for UAM will be $5.7 (Rs 407) and will come down to $1.86 (Rs 133) with all seats occupied. In comparison, according to the data by the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average cost per seat-mile for a regular car will be $0.464 to $0.608 (Rs 33 – Rs 43). This is significantly more expensive to operate on a regular basis.