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The global urban air mobility market size was USD 2.90 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 3.01 billion in 2021 to USD 8.91 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 16.77% in the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with urban air mobility witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market will exhibit a decline of 18.31% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Rising urbanization and traffic conditions are pushing ground transportation networks to their limits. Bringing urban air mobility into the third dimension has the potential to develop a transportation system that is faster, cleaner, safer, and more interconnected. Autonomous aerial vehicles and flying cars are no longer science fiction as projects and tests are underway worldwide. The UAM sector, which is still in its early phases, saw significant growth, with over USD 1.00 billion invested in the first few months of 2020. The most notable investments being Toyota's USD 590.0 million in Joby Aviation and Guangzhou EHang Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd USD 650.0 million IPO value. Furthermore, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) works with more than 15 eVTOL aircraft manufacturers. Within the next three to five years, Uber Air, Guangzhou EHang Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd, Volocopter GmbH, Joby Aviation, and Lilium GmbH all plan to begin commercial passenger operations.
Globally, rising traffic congestion difficulties, particularly in larger cities, are driving the demand for speedier intracity transportation choices. This is likely to increase focus on this technology development and R&D investment, with several start-ups and aerospace companies considering it a high-growth market. As a result, such factors are projected to fuel the market growth over the forecast period.
Urban Air Mobility Faced Unprecedented Challenges amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 outbreak has significantly damaged this market. The outbreak results in lockdown in several developed and developing countries such as the U.S., the U.K., China, and India. All the research and development operations are halted due to economic crisis. These factors have created a negative impact on market growth. In addition, the pandemic had a significant effect on the aviation sector in 2020, which results in a rippling effect on the UAM sector as most of the prominent participants in this market are directly or indirectly connected to the aviation industry. For example,
Many rising firms in the UAM industry lost business due to lockdowns in high-growth regions. Due to delays in development and a low revenue generation, the large firms have limited their investment in UAM R&D and small firms have failed to continue their work on UAM. In comparison to pre-COVID-19 conditions, the commercialization of UAM appears to have been delayed by over a year.
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Rising Investment in UAM System Across the World to Surge Demand
As the number of on-road passenger vehicles rises year after year, traffic congestion is becoming more of a worry.
Increased traffic on the roads, particularly during peak hours, resulted in commuters spending much more time on the road. The current road infrastructure in most nations is incapable of handling peak-hour traffic without causing people to queue. It is not just a waste of citizens' time but also a challenge to governments. Furthermore, increasing on-road passenger vehicle volumes, which consume fossil fuels, are significantly harming the environment. With traffic congestion and urban road mobility being a significant concern, governments and technology firms have begun considering UAM's for potential passenger and also considering this as cargo transportation option. Since this is a safe and efficient air transportation system where passenger-carrying air taxis operate above inhabited areas, this may save a lot of time.
There may be significant time savings due to UAM as it is a safe and efficient air transportation system where passenger-carrying air taxis operate faster and can do sharp turns easily. Furthermore, the UAM's air taxis are mostly electric or fuel-cell powered. As a result, they contribute to the reduction of pollution in the atmosphere.
Growing Demand for Alternate Mode of Transport to Boost Market Growth
With growing urban population, transportation infrastructure must be managed appropriately to allow for mass mobility. As a result, cities worldwide are exploring alternative modes of transportation to alleviate traffic congestion. The use of autonomous drones in urban air mobility is intended to provide benefits such as lower pollution, shorter travel times, and decreasing demand on current transportation infrastructure.
A primary reason driving the growth of this market is increasing traffic problems in densely populated cities. Long traffic jams result from increased road traffic in urban areas, resulting in unnecessary travel time.
Demand for UAM Driven by Rising Demand for Green Solutions
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an average passenger car emits 4.7 metric tonnes of CO2 each year. In addition, automotive accidents have increased due to rising vehicle ownership in developing countries such as India and China. Moreover, an increase in number of ground vehicles results in increase in pollution and need for more parking space. This factor is expected to drive the urban air mobility market growth during the forecast period.
UAM is expected to deliver the ultimate solution to these environmental challenges to overcome the insecurities associated with ground vehicles. A battery-powered UAM vehicle will replace existing internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality in metropolitan areas.
Security Concern, High Investment, and Limited Government Supportive Regulation to Hamper Market Growth
Political, economic, social, technological, and legal barriers must be overcome by all countries adopting urban air transportation for better reach and adaptability. The market Operation should be economically scaled to suit high-demand operations with low fixed costs. Research institutes, corporations, universities, and governments must all make significant investments.
Several firms have designed and tested enabling parts of the UAM idea in recent years, including prototypes of vertical takeoff landing capability vehicles, operating concepts, and prospective business models. While the convergence of multiple elements may enable UAM, legal and regulatory constraints may prevent it from becoming widespread.
Like other disruptive technologies, UAM has yet to reach a stage where innovation is not hindered, and the public is sufficiently safeguarded by federal, state, and local governments. As a part of legal impediments, safety and privacy, UAM operations offer new and factual issues that may deter the usage of such technology. However, these legal impediments are followed by collaborative initiatives like the UAS Integration Pilot Program, FAA Rulemaking Committees, the UAM Grand Challenge, and others that enable the alignment of technology and policy, allowing for more complicated operations.
Air Taxi Segment is Estimated to Grow Strongly During the Forecast Period
Based on vehicle type, the market is segmented into air taxis, air metro, air ambulance, last-mile delivery, and others.
The air ambulance segment was estimated to be the largest segment in 2020, owing to rising demand for emergency medical services. The need for air ambulances has further increased amid pandemics to provide medical treatment to people in rural areas.
The air taxis segment witness fast pace growth during 2021-2028. This growth is attributed to rapid technological advancements such as constructing prototypes. A convergence of technology, including highly efficient batteries, sophisticated manufacturing techniques, and autonomous vehicles like self-driving automobiles, is expected to drive the segment growth during the forecast period. The air taxi segment will further supplement by private transportation in urban areas in the future years. For instance, demo flights have been taking place in Guangzhou, China since 2018; the first aircraft will transport people around the Olympic games in Paris, France in 2024; and test flights will be taking place soon in Dallas, Texas.
Intercity Segment is Expected to Witness Fast Pace Growth During Forecast Period
The market has been divided into intercity and intracity based on range.
The intercity section of the global market is predicted to have the highest growth, owing to technological advancements that have made urban air mobility a viable option. These planes are also equipped with technology that allows them to transport 2 to 4 passengers and 20 to 40 kg of hand luggage over distances ranging from 50 to 250 kilometers. In addition, these intercity planes cut travel times between two cities in half. These planes are the only means of high-speed transport that do not necessitate extensive infrastructure. As a result of these characteristics, the demand for intercity aircraft is expected to boost or skyrocket, potentially accelerating the sub-market segment's growth over the analysis period.
The intracity segment dominated the market with large share in 2020. The growth of the segment is due to increasing traffic congestion in the world's busiest cities, such as New York, Munich, Rio de Janeiro, and Bengaluru, owing to increasing population and migration from rural areas. As a result, significant airlines throughout the world have begun to use UAMs for intracity service.
Autonomous Segment is Expected to Grow at a Rapid Rate
The market is divided into three segments based on operation, including piloted, hybrid, and autonomous.
The autonomous segment, in particular, is likely to increase and create significant revenue in the global market. The reduction of human error in aircraft operations due to enhanced autonomy, novel artificial intelligence (AI) developments, and increased cost savings in the global aviation sector will fuel this expansion. In addition, aviation industry leaders, such as Aurora Flight Sciences, specializing in developing advanced aircraft, are developing new products.
The piloted segment of this market is having the largest urban air mobility market share in the global market. This growth is attributed to increasing deployment of advanced eVTOL systems for commercial and military aircraft in the market currently.
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Ride-Sharing Companies Segment is Estimated to Witness Fastest Growth
Based on end-user, the market is segmented into ride-sharing companies, scheduled operators, e-commerce companies, hospitals and medical agencies, and private operators.
The ride-sharing companies segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This growth is due to increased traffic congestion, especially in larger cities, boosting demand for faster intercity transportation options. In this domain, the concept of urban air transportation is gaining traction. Uber has been a key player in the Ridesharing Company, assisting in developing a framework for integrating drones and air taxis into a Ridesharing network. Uber's work on UAM and Joby Aviation's planes will be a strong future transportation alliance.
The hospitals and medical agencies segment has the largest share due to an increase in emergency medical care. During the pandemic, the demand for air ambulances has increased due to increase in need for medical treatment in remote areas.
Scheduled operators, e-commerce companies, and private operators segment are anticipated to witness moderate growth during the forecast period owing to the rising demand for aircraft-quality control services.
North America Urban Air Mobility Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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In terms of geography, the global market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world.
North America held the largest share in 2020 with market size of 1.19 billion. The region is dominating this market compared to other areas. The Boeing Company's presence has also aided in creating a good climate for the sector, as the business is heavily investing in producing prototypes for evaluation. The U.S. is leading the way in North America in terms of adopting this modern mode of transportation. Many American start-ups are collaborating to develop and apply these technologies on a local level. A roadmap for getting the UAM into commercial use will be laid out over the next 5-6 years. The rising air traffic among residents of major North American cities fuels the adoption of air taxis and airport shuttle services. Furthermore, last-mile and freight services are likely to be widely provided with eVTOL aircraft in the U.S., positively impacting the market growth in North America.
Europe is going to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. Though there have been developments worldwide, most of these innovations have been concentrated in Europe. The U.K., Germany, and France are investing heavily in urban air mobility technology. The presence of Airbus S.A.S has also aided in creating a favorable atmosphere for this sector, as these businesses are investing heavily in producing prototypes for evaluation. For example, Airbus has been researching ways to use the most recent technology breakthroughs in electric propulsion systems for powering UAMs since 2014. As a result, the Airbus Urban Mobility business was established in 2018 to speed the integration of such breakthrough technology into the UAM solutions that the company aspires to provide. Airbus began researching new capabilities as part of the Vertex project in April 2021, intending to achieve completely autonomous flight in its Flightlab demonstrator by 2023.
The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness remarkable growth during the forecast period. The growth is due to increasing investments in urban air mobility technology in India, China, Singapore, Japan, and others.
The rising demand for urban air mobility in Latin America and the Middle East & Africa is anticipated to drive the growth of this market during the forecast period. The Middle East, particularly the United Arab Emirates, is poised to become the global capital of urban air mobility. S-A1, Hyundai Motor Group's urban air mobility vision concept, was recently unveiled at GITEX Technology Week, which took place from December 6 to 10, 2020 at Dubai World Trade Center. Etisalat, a leading telecommunications operator in Africa and the Middle East and a GITEX host, has added the S-A1 to its list of "Best Innovations in 2020" and invited Hyundai Motor Group to demonstrate its game-changing technology.
Key Players to Focus On Product Innovation to Sustain their Positions in Market
The market is still in its early stages, with several businesses attempting to deploy their UAM systems through collaborations and partnerships in the next five years. However, a lot of groundwork still needs to be done regarding the necessary infrastructure and air traffic management. The players are teaming up with several other companies or organizations that can provide the essential technologies.
With a rising emphasis on environment-friendly and economically sustainable mobility technologies, players primarily focus on creating eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft and exploring other energy sources such as hydrogen fuel cells. Furthermore, in this area, investments in autonomous aircraft are currently expanding.
An Infographic Representation of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Market
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The global urban air mobility market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It encompasses key aspects such as R&D capabilities and optimization of the manufacturing process. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report focuses on several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
Vehicle Type, Range, Operation, End User, and Region
By Vehicle Type
By End User
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.90 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 8.91 billion by 2028.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.77% during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The air ambulance vehicle type segment is the leading segment in the market.
Textron Inc. (U.S.), Uber Technologies Inc. (U.S.), Airbus SE (Netherlands), and the Boeing Company (U.S.) are the leading players.
North America dominated the market in terms of market share in 2020.
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