The rise of advanced air mobility has paved the way for exciting innovations in the field of passenger and parcel drones. As the demand for efficient and sustainable transportation solutions grows, numerous companies around the world are actively developing cutting-edge technologies in this domain. Here are some of the key players shaping the future of passenger and parcel drone systems.

Pioneering urban air transport

Volocopter, a German-based company, leads the way in passenger drone development with an impressive range of innovative aircraft. Among their cutting-edge creations is the VoloCity air taxi, an autonomous drone specifically designed to carry two passengers. Alongside this, Volocopter has developed the VoloDrone, an unmanned electric drone with an impressive payload capacity of up to 200 kg. Additionally, their VoloConnect offers a larger eVTOL aircraft solution, comfortably accommodating four passengers, boasting a range of 97 km and cruising at speeds of up to 180 km/h.

Meanwhile, Lilium, another prominent European player, focuses on revolutionizing transportation between cities with their expertise in fixed-wing drones. These drones are purpose-built to bridge the gap between urban areas and offer extended operational range, presenting an innovative alternative in passenger transportation.

Based in Guangzhou, China, Ehang is a significant player committed to the development and production of unmanned air vehicles. With a dedicated focus on optimizing autonomous air vehicles for large-scale manufacturing, Ehang has emerged as one of the most promising companies in the field of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). Their relentless pursuit of innovation positions them at the forefront of the industry and these days, you can find the passenger drones in Zuhai as a tourism attraction to give visitors unique views of the city.

Several aviation industry giants are also actively involved in the development of passenger drones. Airbus, Boeing, and Kitty Hawk are notable examples of companies exploring and investing in this emerging technology. Additionally, the automotive industry, known for its advancements in autonomous ground vehicles, has also entered the airspace. Companies like Mercedes/Daimler (partnered with Volocopter), Audi (partnered with Airbus), and Geely (partnered with Volocopter) have established collaborations with drone manufacturers to explore the potential of autonomous vehicles in the air.

In a world where transportation is evolving rapidly, partnerships between innovative companies and the pioneers of passenger and parcel drones have the potential to shape the future of mobility and logistics.

Karen Sprengers, TomorrowLab

Revolutionizing Parcel Delivery

In the realm of futuristic couriers, companies are making significant strides towards seamless and efficient transport solutions:

  • Matternet, an American start-up, aims to make access to goods as seamless as access to information. Their partnership with Swiss Post focuses on the transport of urgent medical materials between hospitals and labs. Matternet has successfully conducted operational flights in locations such as Lake Zurich, Lugano (with 15 flights a day), and Berlin.
  • Apart from its involvement in passenger drones, Ehang conducts pilot projects that involve the delivery of lunch boxes in business centers. This drone provider has also collaborated with department store chains for testing product deliveries.
  • JD, a Chinese company, specializes in the development of smaller commercial drones and is actively exploring parcel transportation through drone technology. Similarly, Rakuten, a well-known Japanese company, has made strides in drone delivery services within Japan.

In conclusion, the development of passenger and parcel drones is gaining significant traction worldwide. Companies like Volocopter, Lilium, Ehang, and established players such as Airbus and Boeing are actively pushing the boundaries of aviation technology. The automotive industry's entry into this field further amplifies the potential for a revolution in transportation. Collaboration between these innovative companies could pave the way for a future where drone technology significantly redefines mobility and logistics.

TomorrowLab guided skeyes in this journey and contributed to the development of Skeydrone (UTM). Our exploration started back to 2019 when we extensively researched various companies. In 2022, we continued our pursuit of cutting-edge technology by visiting Google Wing (parcel), Ames NASA Research Center (UTM), Wisk (electric autonomous aircraft), and Archer (electric aircraft) during our previous Innovation Mission towards Silicon Valley.

Shaping the future of advanced air mobility together?

As we, TomorrowLab, continue to keep a close watch on the industry's evolution and foster collaborations with fascinating international partners, we invite you to be a part of this visionary journey. We connect with intriguing international counterparts, making the future not just a concept but a tangible and engaging topic of discussion.
This can lead to exciting new collaborations and partnerships that hold immense potential. Moving forward, we actively involve diverse stakeholders and ecosystems in our missions, transforming ideas into reality and fostering concrete projects. At the heart of it all, our role remains steadfast – we are here to facilitate the conversations and forge the partnerships that will shape the future.

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Karen Sprengers
Karen Sprengers Domain Lead