Daimler, Lukasz Gadowski, and an unspecified number of parties have invested €25m (£22.3m) in Volocopter for the development of electric flying taxis, reports Reuters. Volocopter has developed what they claim is the "first manned, fully electric and safe vertical starter in the world".
Flying cars for the taxi market have been considered for a while now with companies set to begin tests as early as 2020.
In a press release, Volocopter said using this funding, they will be further expanding their technology which they claim will revolutionise urban mobility. As of now, each craft can carry two passengers. The company has also said that they are planning to carry out demonstrations of their air taxis by the fourth quarter of 2017 in Dubai. The company claims that by 2030, 25% of Dubai's passenger transportation will be autonomous.
The funding came not only from Daimler, but also from Lucas Gadowski from the supervisory board of Delivery Hero, among other investors who were not named. "We deliberately sought a mix of investors with strategic and entrepreneurial backgrounds and were able to implement this perfectly with Daimler und Lukasz Gadowski," said the managing director of Volocopter, Florian Reuter.
While Daimler brings in knowledge in the way automobiles and their markets work, Gadowski has experience with the way tech start-ups and those markets work in terms of "global scaling", Reuter said.
Through this funding package, the company will be able to speed up progress in the development of flight systems, propulsion as well as software. Extensive test flights are also on the radar, according to Volocoptor.
The next stage in the development of aircraft for the company will be a five-seater exclusively for the taxi market.
While there are flying cars under development, alternative forms of public transportation like the hyperloop and Boring Company's autonomous, tunnel-based car elevator systems are also steadily underway. It might be safe to say that urban travel that is mostly autonomous is not too far-fetched an idea.
Volocoptor is not the only company that is working on flying cars. German companies, Lilium Jet and eVolo as well as US-based Terrafugia, and Joby Aviation, as well as the mighty Airbus are working on developing their own versions of the flying, urban passenger transport craft.