Honeywell International Inc. will lend its expertise in autonomous sensing and flight technologies to the navigation and automatic landing systems for Volocopter GmbH’s all-electric, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) urban air mobility (UAM) vehicle. The partnership will accelerate the development of inertial measurement units, attitude heading reference solutions, and other technologies established under Europe's Clean Sky 2 and Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) 2020 industry and government collaboration programs.
The two companies plan to “prove and mature existing technologies by testing and evolving various sensor-based navigation systems” for electric VTOL aircraft like flying taxis and on-demand autonomous vehicles. Through advancing existing technologies, Honeywell and Volocopter hope to develop new technologies for UAM.
“Congestion and traffic jams continue to be time killers for people in modern megacities. New timesaving, environmentally friendly solutions are required, and air taxis will certainly be one of them,” says Jan Hendrik Boelens, chief technology officer, Volocopter. “Honeywell's wealth of experience and knowledge in the development of next-generation avionics technologies combined with our manufacturing expertise will make autonomous, on-demand air mobility a reality across the world. A key goal of our collaboration is to fly a Honeywell inertial measurement-based attitude reference system solution in one of our Volocopters in 2019.”
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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