UAM is a safe and efficient system for air passenger and cargo transportation within an urban area, inclusive of small package delivery and other urban Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) services, which supports a mix of onboard/ground-piloted and increasingly autonomous operations.
Government agencies, industries, and other organizations are all actively gauging the prospect for UAM to disrupt the market and create new and innovative business models. Going forward, UAMs are expected to be largely used for various industrial applications, including civilian, last mile delivery, transport and logistics, aerial imaging systems, medical air rescue, and road traffic patrol, among others. This creates a pool of opportunity for such services providers to bring new ways for people to travel around cities and urban areas while reducing congestion.
Several major strategic developments have been undertaken on the VTOL and air taxi front, which have high growth potential. The key players in the market have invested extensively in product innovations and technological advancements. New and existing players in the urban air mobility market are expected to see sizable growth during the forecast period.
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Based on architecture, the UAM market has been segmented into quadcopters, multicopters, tilt wingers, fixed wings, and hybrid constructions. The quadcopter segment is expected to remain the largest segment of the global UAM market during the forecast period. Electric or hybrid-electric quadcopters are going to be the first choice for carrying passengers as they can take-off and land anywhere. They could be piloted and operated remotely or autonomous.
On the basis of range, the UAM market has been segmented into inter-city and intra-city. The inter-city segment is expected to be the largest during the forecast period as it will offer short-haul, inter-city flights carrying multiple passengers. Inter-city travel will allow passengers to take off from locations very close to their homes or businesses and landing very close to the point of their destination rather than having to travel to an airport 40 to 50 miles outside the city.
On the basis of platform, the UAM market has been segmented into air taxis, air shuttles, air metros, air ambulances, DroNav, personal aerial vehicles, cargo aerial vehicles, and others. The air taxis segment is expected to be the largest during the forecast period. It is expected that users of air taxis will not only experience a very time-efficient mode of travel and safe, enjoyable flight experience, but will also be able to move at increasingly low cost as better batteries, new aircraft designs, and, autonomous flight technology to bring prices down towards the late 2020s.
On the basis of infrastructure, the UAM is fragmented into vertiports, charging infrastructure, maintenance facilities, and traffic management. UAM is going to create an entirely new industry as veriports will require a lot of power, generating business for utility companies, while the need for new infrastructure will create opportunities for the real estate industry. The veriports segment is projected to dominate the most among other segments.
UAM represents business opportunities within the infrastructure, fleet management, software, hardware, and propulsion, much like the opportunity for autonomous vehicles. For instance, with an ability to make four times as many trips as a regular car, flying cars could revolutionize the ride-sharing industry. The autonomous aircraft ecosystem would also include makers of sensors, batteries, aircraft parts, and the software systems to operate the vehicles, monitor aircraft traffic, provide network security, and more.
Based on propulsion, the UAM market constitutes the electric and hybrid segment. The hybrid segment is expected to show better growth than electric during the forecast period.
By region, North America is expected to remain the largest UAM market during the forecast period and is also expected to register the highest growth rate. To improve the urban transport network and offer an alternative to congested megacity transport systems, the market players in the US are working with the diverse ecosystem to develop partnerships and a portfolio of projects to make urban air mobility a success.
European cities are seeing ever more challenges to mobility in urban areas and therefore enabling efficient and effective mobility is at the top of the European transport agenda. Throughout Europe, cities and regions are preparing to welcome the take-off of flying vehicles and drones in their pursuit to become smarter and more sustainable. The European Commission is supporting the development of urban air mobility demonstrators through the UAM Initiative of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC).
The key players in the global Urban Air Mobility market are Airbus Group (France), Boeing (US), Volocopter GmbH (Germany), Honeywell International Inc. (US), Aurora Flight Sciences (US), Embraer SA (Brazil), PIPISTREL (Slovenia), Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. (US), Neva Aerospace (UK), Delorean Aerospace LLC (US), Kitty Hawk (US), Lilium (Germany), EHang (China), Workhorse Group Inc. (US), and Joby Aviation (US).