Urban Air Mobility Glossary

Our UAM Glossary is a collaborative effort from many industry experts.

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Air Taxi

Often Urban Air Mobility (UAM)/Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) vehicles are referred to as air taxis, however not all aerial vehicles are air taxis. Air Taxi is an operational scenario, where the service provider offers an on-demand transport service from passenger pickup points to their destination. UAM/AAM ecosystem aims to utilise the Air Taxi concept for intermodal mobility over shorter distances, primarily in urban areas.  


Traditional usage of Taxi

The term taxi is a phrase traditionally used to define a ride-hailing service often for road transport such as Uber or a black cab. Taxi companies provide a service to transport passengers, either singularly or in a group, from a pickup location to their destination.


The service can be accessed by calling up the company and requesting a taxi; hailing a taxi from the streets, or having a driver and a car arranged by a company or hotel services. Ride-hailing (also known as ride-booking) is considered a non-sharing service, i.e. not being shared amongst a group of unknown people. Ride-sharing, however, is where the service puts groups of people together who are taking the same journey in order to reduce individual cost


UAM application 

Similarly, it would in principle apply to UAM/AAM vehicles that are used for ride-sharing purposes where an aircraft is booked and passengers are transported by air from the pickup point to their desired destination. 


Electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles are considered as the prime technology to be used as future air taxis with operations aimed at transporting passengers between destinations of their choice, being by far one of the most popular use cases currently in development. 


Sources and suggested reading: 

  1. Urban Air Mobility  Volocopter

  2. Safe everyday travel for everyone Wisk

  3. Urban Air Mobility - The rise of a new mode of transportation - Roland Berger