Arjun Das, a serial entrepreneur established his latest venture early in 2022. Innovators in the air mobility sector have been designing unmanned drones for the past few years. Arjun Das has started working on the future of transportation by building air taxis.
Indians are spending more time in their cars claimed a recent study. Long commutes have become a norm in most metropolitan cities of India. This is costing people a lot of time and ruining the environment because of excessive fuel consumption. Electric vehicles are on the rise but we need to reduce travel time as well so as not to degrade our environment further.
Air mobility solutions can improve the transportation of goods. It can help in the delivery of medicines and supplies to the elderly who are homebound. Medical services to remote areas will become easier. Of course, this complicated concept demands a lot of attention from the government, to ensure the safety of people. Regulations have to be in place keeping in mind the existing air traffic. Air mobility has several hurdles ahead and will need all the stake holders investors and the government to contribute towards its growth.
A UK-based firm SRAM & MRAM Technologies and Resources has invested $37 million(Rs.300 crore) in Bee Flights Pvt ltd. Bumble Bee Flights is a Bangalore based startup founded by Arjun Das. It plans to launch the first human-carrying electric air taxi prototype by April 2023. By the year 2024 it hopes to start manufacturing air taxis under the brand Bumble Bee Flights. The Rs.300 crore funding is for building the future of transportation in the country mentioned Das.
Gurujee Kumaran Swami Vice Chairman of SRAM & MRAM Technologies and Resources Limited said “ We are announcing our investment of Rs. 300 crores to Bee Flights Pvt ltd to build the future. We share a common vision of the importance of a sustainable future using electric air mobility systems”.
Arjun Das plans to use this funding to set up an assembly plant in Odisha for manufacturing electric air taxis. He wants to put India and specifically Odisha on the global map for air mobility solutions as they received the funding at the “Make In Odisha Conclave 2022”. The company said that air taxis can be used as air ambulances and air taxis as well as for logistics, recreational use and even for defence applications. These taxis are based on the technology of eVTOL(electric vertical takeoff and landing) similar to helicopters. The taxis will have solar power batteries and can travel 20 km distance or travel for 20 minutes. They can carry one person along with some luggage and unlike helicopters that need helipads for takeoff and landing they can easily land on rooftops. They will weigh about 300 kg which is much less than the weight of a helicopter. They can drastically reduce the commute time of the urban population and along with that reduce pollution.
It is believed that eVTOL(electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircrafts, are the future of transportation in urban areas. The air mobility market is expected to grow by 30% annually for the next 2 decades. It is estimated that by 2035 air taxis will become a common mode of transport. The global market size for air taxis will reach a whopping $1.5 trillion by the year 2040.
Bumble Bee Flights is the first Indian company to manufacturer autonomous air taxis. It will be taking support from global partners in Singapore, UK and Europe for service support and for running operations. Das aims to make Bee Flights similar to Boeing or Airbus for the air mobility solutions.