Porsche and Boeing have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly explore the future of “premium personal urban air mobility vehicles,” the companies announced on Oct. 10.
As part of the partnership, the companies 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 venture is a departure from the ride-sharing models being explored by most urban air mobility companies. A Boeing spokesperson told eVTOL.com, “The focus of this relationship is on the potential for a premium product that appeals to personal ownership and experiential flight business models. There is no intention by either party or work scope in the MOU to explore a ride-sharing mobility service.”
In a press release, Detlev von Platen, member of the executive board for sales and marketing at Porsche AG, explained, “Porsche is looking to enhance its scope as a sports car manufacturer by becoming a leading brand for premium mobility. In the longer term, this could mean moving into the third dimension of travel. We are combining the strengths of two leading global companies to address a potential key market segment of the future.”
Boeing, Porsche, and Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences are also developing a concept for a fully electric VTOL aircraft. Engineers from both companies, as well as Porsche subsidiaries Porsche Engineering Services GmbH and Studio F.A. Porsche, will implement and test a prototype. Aurora has already been flying one eVTOL prototype, the Passenger Air Vehicle (PAV), which first took to the air in January of this year.
According to Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s innovation division, Boeing NeXt, the collaboration with Porsche “builds on our efforts to develop a safe and efficient new mobility ecosystem, and provides an opportunity to investigate the development of a premium urban air mobility vehicle with a leading automotive brand. Porsche and Boeing together bring precision engineering, style, and innovation to accelerate urban air mobility worldwide.”
This story has been updated with additional comment from Boeing.