Volkswagen Group China unveils an electric vertical Take-Off and landing passenger front prototype. Its strategy is to explore and break new ground in different mobility concepts that are electric and fully sustainable. The vertical mobility group was launched in 2020. They have been working on the next generation of mobility solutions.
Some of the solutions include the urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace. After intensive research, conceptual work, and development, the project team has now developed its first validation model: the V.MO.
This initial prototype has also been nicknamed the Flying Tiger due to its distinctive black and gold livery, which was painted to commemorate its launch in the Year of the Tiger. The prototype concept is based on existing autonomous driving solutions and battery technology for emission-free mobility. With a luxury X-wing configuration of 11.2m in length and a span width of 10.6m, the model features eight rotors for vertical lift and two propellers for horizontal flight.
The Group will conduct several flight tests later this year to optimize the concept and an improved prototype will undergo further advanced test flights by late summer of 2023. In its final future iteration, the fully electric and automated eVTOL could eventually carry four passengers plus luggage over a distance of up to 200 km.
Volkswagen Group China is rapidly expanding local R&D and software expertise to respond faster to what customers want and accelerate the pace of innovation significantly. The Vertical Mobility project requires interdisciplinary and innovative thinking in a new field, and the Group formed a team of young, local experts to drive it forward. They have been supported by Chinese partners including Hunan Sunward Technology, a subsidiary of Hunan-based manufacturing group Sunward. The company specializes in aviation product development, sales and services and is a market leader in the light sport aircraft industry.
Urban air mobility is a fast-emerging market which aims to utilize air space for short- and medium-distance connections, especially above and between large cities. In China, it is set to play a significant role in the future of urban and intercity transportation in its congested megacities. In the first phase of its commercial use, V.MO is likely to be pitched as a premium product for high-net-worth tech-savvy Chinese customers, for example for VIP air shuttle services. eVTOL air vehicles will be able to transport passengers more quickly and efficiently than current conventional means of terrestrial transport and with greater flexibility. As the Vertical Mobility project develops, Volkswagen Group China will work with the relevant Chinese authorities to achieve certification.
Credits- Green Car Progress