VOLOPORT

ClientVOLOCOPTER IN COLLABORATION WITH SKYPORTS
Category A05. Business Transformation
TitleVOLOPORT
Product/ServiceURBAN AIR TAXI STATION
Entrant BRANDLAB Berlin, GERMANY
Idea Creation BRANDLAB Berlin, GERMANY
Production BRANDLAB Berlin, GERMANY
Additional Company ARUP Berlin, GERMANY
Credits
Name Company Position
Linda Stannieder Graft Brandlab GmbH Chief Executive Officer
Felipe Wagner Graft Brandlab GmbH Senior Project Lead
Maximilian Grieb Graft Brandlab GmbH Head of Client Service
Alexandra Uzunoglu Graft Brandlab GmbH Strategy Director
Helene Haas Graft Brandlab GmbH Strategist
Jörg Dengler Graft Brandlab GmbH Creative Director
David Steingrüber Graft Brandlab GmbH Senior Designer
Marvin Bratke Graft Brandlab GmbH Head of Architecture
Rangel Karaivanov Graft Brandlab GmbH Senior Architect
Philip Hohmann Graft Brandlab GmbH Senior Architect
Lucas Confurius Graft Brandlab GmbH Architect
Liljana Nastova Graft Brandlab GmbH Architect

Why is this work relevant for Innovation?

Mobility patterns are changing rapidly as cities become increasingly more congested. Conquering the urban airspace with air taxis offers a potential solution that Volocopter, the urban air taxi pioneer, is bringing to life.     As receiving the commercial license for air taxis is a question of time, not possibility, Volocopter focuses on shaping the necessary ecosystem around Urban Air Mobility, including air traffic management, city regulation, and take-off and landing infrastructure. Thus, once regulation comes through on the aviation and city level, they will be ready to take off.   The VoloPort is a vital contribution for future electric urban air mobility.

Background

The development of the user experience began by considering the unpleasant reality of flying by commercial airplane and how a travel experience can be made better. The technological concept should create a seamless, positive experience from booking to arrival, similar to car sharing. The project’s limitations were mostly around the security topics for the heliport. There are still several terms, that do not apply to eVTOLs, but nonetheless have to be accomplished, since heliport laws do apply.

Describe the idea

The design is based upon the idea that flying should provide a feeling of freedom. Every experience that the VoloPort offers is tied to this basic concept: A seamless process from check-in to boarding. A continuous visual connection with the Volocopter provides the passenger with a feeling of security. To enhance this feeling, a visual connection is made between the earth and the sky above. In terms of functionality, the VoloPort is a modular building in both minor and major scale. Functions can be added or subtracted to the building itself, depending on the on-site needs. But several buildings can also be connected, to create larger-scale VoloPorts for increased passenger traffic.

What were the key dates in the development process?

April 2018: Volocopter presents its infrastructure vision integrating air taxis into existing transportation systems. “We expect any air taxi transport system to begin with a point-to-point connection and over time grow into a system of dozens of Volo-Hubs in a city,” says Alex Zosel, Co-Founder of Volocopter. May to September 2018: Directly after publishing its infrastructure vision, Volocopter conducts a pitch with reputable international architectural firms. This open, seamless and efficient concept fitted all expectations of the client. February 2019: After a search for an infrastructure partner, Volocopter and Skyports team up to bring the VoloPort concept to life. In May 2019 the build-out of the world's first VoloPort prototype is announced by the end of 2019. October 2019: The first-ever Vertiport for eVTOLs is built in Singapore and presented to the world.

Describe the innovation / technology

The Prototype: The VoloPort prototype is a mobile, transportable and globally usable prototype for test purposes. As such, it allows industry leaders, and the public to understand what they might expect when using a VoloPort in the near future - as a basis for a worldwide rollout. The prototype presented at ITS is not certified partly due to the modifications. Permanent VoloPorts will meet international ICAO standards and will be fully certified by the aviation authority of the country in which they are located. Customer Journey: The check-in process at the Voloport starts with the latest face-recognition technology. Also, while standing on the check-in circle to have their face recognized by the check-in screen, passengers are weighed by a scale hidden under the floor. This weighing procedure is very important to define the amount of passengers that will fit in the upcoming Volocopter flight.

Describe the expectations / outcome

For Volocopter to have unveiled the first public prototype of a landing port for eVTOLs underlines their role as leaders in the field. For consumers, to connect Volocopter to their first experience of the physical space where air mobility will take off, will create long-term commitment and identification of the category with the brand. To design and present a building holding a function which is still to be realized, and therefore no association with an experience, brings the future one step closer. The original briefing was focused on function and prototyping of a VoloPort. The final result relates the building to the brand development, and creates a characterizing design and image of a physical landing infrastructure for eVTOLs.