Published on May 22nd, 2019 | by Nicolas Zart0
Bosch Steps Into the Electric Air Taxi Industry To Help Cars Fly
May 22nd, 2019 by Nicolas Zart
With 1 billion flights predicted for air taxis by 2030, Bosch is getting into the electric vertical take-off & landing (eVTOL) business with a sensor box for autonomy.
According to the Boston Consulting Group, there will be 1 billion air taxi flights by 2030. As networks develop above the ground, air taxis will use Bosch’s state-of-the-art sensor technology for safe, comfortable, and convenient automated flights.
Bosch Pulls Automotive Expertise For Light eVTOL Sensors
Electric air taxi test flights are scheduled around the world in Dubai, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Singapore by 2020 and we will be sure to cover these events for you. This leads the industry to feel regular service can begin as early as 2023, with pilots on board at first. Autonomous eVTOLS will take off later, around 2025. By that time, it is estimated that roughly 3,000 flying taxis will operate worldwide, according to Roland Berger. This could increase to 12,000 by 2030 and about 100,000 air taxis by 2050 — but, really, everyone is just guessing. Morgan Stanley estimates the air taxi market could reach $1.5 trillion by 2040.
Bosch developed the first MEMS sensors for vehicles over 25 years ago. In vehicles, the sensors supply control units with data about whether the car is currently braking or accelerating, and lets them know the direction in which the vehicle is traveling. The Bosch sensor box for flying taxis is equipped with acceleration sensors that measure the movements of the aircraft. Built-in yaw-rate sensors measure the flying vehicle’s angle of attack, while magnetic field sensors gauge its compass heading. The package also includes pressure sensors, which use barometric pressure to measure altitude and dynamic pressure readings to determine the vehicle’s current speed.
The report also estimates an average air taxi should cost around $550,000, which makes for a practical mobility sharing solution.
According to Harald Kröger, president of the Bosch Automotive Electronics division: “The first flying taxis are set to take off in major cities starting in 2023, at the latest. Bosch plans to play a leading role in shaping this future market.”
Bosch feels that conventional aerospace technology is too expensive, bulky, and heavy for eVTOL air taxis. But much as modern sensors automate driving, Bosch designed a system with dozens of sensors to create a universal control unit for flying taxis. It wants to use its MEMS sensors (microelectromechanical systems) to automate eVTOL flight.
Can Bosch Help the eVTOL Market with Its Sensors?
This air taxis will need to have the ability to determine their precise position in order to be controlled safely. Bosch feels it has an advantage using its production-tested sensors. In fact, Marcus Parentis, the head of the technology team at Bosch in charge of the control units behind the electric light aircraft, said:
“Through our Bosch solution, we aim to make civil aviation with flying taxis affordable for a wide range of providers. … We are talking to air taxi manufacturers from the aerospace and automotive industries, as well as with start-ups that build air vehicles and are looking to provide sharing services. … The question isn’t whether flying taxis will become reality, but when.”