Amid all the uncertainty and pandemonium in the market, Boeing [BA] appears exempt, instead focusing on its own little venture to keep the company ticking forward.
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With automakers jumping on the electric vehicle bandwagon, Boeing’s going after a market of its own — autonomous, all-electric, flying taxis.
Wait, autonomous taxis?
You heard that right. The company behind Boeing’s $450 million investment, Wisk, argues that one of the biggest issues with commercial air travel is pilot error. So how do they solve it? By removing pilots entirely.
Don’t worry though, if your flying taxi breaks down at some stage, the company’s got a backup parachute to make sure you land as softly as a feather. That’s the plan, at least.
You might think that this will just be a gimmick for the ultra-wealthy — and it may be at first. But according to Wisk: “Sitting in traffic will be a thing of the past.” Of course, that’s a tall order and it’s not quite ready to lift off just yet, but the company is making tracks.
Wisk is currently partnered with Air New Zealand, which has allowed it to get more than 1,500 test flights under its belt, and Boeing’s follow-up investment now has the business setting its sights on becoming the first certified air taxi company in the U.S., targeting a 2028 timeline.
Air taxi market size at present
Considering the sheer size of Boeing, which sits at a $100 billion+ market cap, this $450 million bet could pay off in a bigger way. Looking at the current stats, the market for air taxis is worth $818 million right now, but it’s estimated to grow at a 26% compound annual growth rate until 2030, which would value it at a whopping $6.6 billion by then.
With the backing of Boeing, Wisk will be able to ramp research and development considerably, and we could see the pair benefit as a first-mover in a lucrative market.
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