Volocopter is furthering its plans to expand into the U.S. through a partnership with Urban Movement Labs of Los Angeles.
The German eVTOL developer announced the collaboration this week, along with its upcoming presence at the CoMotion LA conference in November. According to a press release, its work with Urban Movement Labs will help inform a policy framework that envisions urban air mobility (UAM) “as a safe, sustainable, and equitable multi-modal transportation component in Los Angeles” — part of the UAM Partnership that Urban Movement Labs announced in December 2020.
“We are executing a community-first strategy to engage with community-based organizations and inform a policy framework that will guide the development of UAM infrastructure in the City of Los Angeles,” explained Sam Morrissey, Urban Movement Labs executive director. “Through our partnership with Volocopter we can explore specific pilot projects to advance a future UAM network that reflects what we hear from Angelenos and establishes standards for future UAM operation.”
For Volocopter, the collaboration represents “a great entryway into the U.S.,” according to chief commercial officer Christian Bauer. “By leading the conversation about urban air mobility with broad stakeholders in Los Angeles, Volocopter can strategically identify and address how our services can benefit cities in the country. More importantly, we are also gaining real insights into living transportation ecosystems in the U.S. to build the best [complementary] service to other modes of transportation for our future passengers,” he stated.
Volocopter, which is pursuing initial certification of its two-seat VoloCity air taxi from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), announced in January that the Federal Aviation Administration accepted its application for concurrent type certificate validation, which would allow the company to enter the U.S. market soon after EASA certification. The company recently showcased its progress to a U.S. audience at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in July, where it performed crewed demonstrations of its 2X eVTOL prototype.
Los Angeles is widely perceived as an attractive market for urban air mobility in the U.S. Archer has publicly named the city as a launch market, while Joby, Hyundai, and Eve have also intimated interest in L.A. operations.