Through its innovation arm, EmbraerX, Embraer is collaborating with Uber to develop an all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, as well as the supporting ecosystem to make urban air mobility a reality.
Antonio Campello, President & CEO, EmbraerX, wouldn’t disclose all the details of the aircraft but he did say it will carry four people. Initially, there will be a pilot too but eventually the plan is that it will fly autonomously.
Embraer X is looking at a Lift + Cruise system with distributed propulsion for hover, then a separate propulsion system for cruise, Campello said.
Campello noted there are major challenges to making urban air mobility a reality (including battery, air traffic management and autonomous passenger flight) but believes “all of them can be overcome.”
“It’s time to make it happen,” he said. “It’s going to happen sooner than everybody expects.”
An experimental aircraft that’s ready for passenger tests could be ready by 2020, he said. Certification could be as soon as 2023.