American multinational vehicle manufacturer General Motors has revealed it is exploring options in the aerial taxi market, as it looks to future growth opportunities.
General Motors chief executive Mary Barra spoke of the company’s potential investment in flying car technology at an RBC conference on Monday, according to a report by Reuters, saying that the concept fit with its development of electric vehicles (EVs) and its Ultium advanced electric battery.
Barra made specific reference to air taxis, which are vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft that utilise electric motors instead of traditional internal combustion jet engines, and are designed to relieve traffic congestion on roads by flying above.
“We believe strongly in our EV future and not just for vehicles,” Barra said,
“The strength and flexibility of our Ultium battery system opens doors” for many uses, she added, “including aerial mobility.”
When pressed for comment, a GM spokesperson refused to elaborate, but said, “It’s an area we’re really excited about and looking at.”
The company’s exploration of aerial mobility markets serves as part of a push by GM’s innovation team to explore additional transportation markets for growth, according to sources close to the matter.
These sources also told Reuters that GM is still weighing all its options, including whether it may wish to build, supply or partner, as it decides to join the growing and developing market.
Corporate and private investors have already poured at least $2.3 billion into more than 100 aerial vehicle start-ups, including drones and electric air taxis, however it is believed the technology still has a way to go before it is both commercially available and profitable.
General Motors could make an announcement on its own involvement in the developing space of flying cars early next year, according to sources.