Bumble Bee Flights, a company that has designed and developed India’s first autonomous air mobility solution with multiple use-case scenarios such as air ambulance, air taxi, logistics, recreational use, and defence applications, has raised Rs 300 crore ($37 million) in investment from SRAM & MRAM Technologies and Resources Limited, a UK-based technology conglomerate.
The Bengaluru-based startup, founded in early 2022 by serial entrepreneur and air mobility solutions expert Arjun Das, stated that the funds will be used to establish an assembly plant in Odisha to manufacture the air taxis. The company intends to release the first prototype in April 2023.
According to an official announcement, Bumble Bee Flights will produce air taxis under the brand Bee Flights. These air taxis will be certified and available for production by 2024.
Arjun Das, Founder of Bumble Bee Flights, said, “eVTOL Aircrafts are the future of urban mobility and transport. These autonomous air taxis would not only ease the already burdened urban road infrastructure but also will work towards reducing carbon footprints. We aim to work towards making mobility cheaper, faster, and more sustainable.”
He said the company was committed to make in India, make for the global movement, and [to] build the future of transportation. “This is also a step towards putting Odisha and India on the global air mobility solution map,” he said.
Bee Flights’ air taxis would be powered by solar-charged swappable batteries and weigh about 300 kg, as opposed to helicopters that weigh 1,000 kg or more. They will be able to carry one person as well as a suitcase and land on apartment rooftops. They will be able to fly for 20 kilometres in 20 minutes.
Arjun believes that by 2035, air taxis will be a common sight around the world, with these flying vehicles managing and controlling about 10% of all transportation. This will simplify daily commuting, saving millions of driving hours and drastically reducing pollution.
According to Morgan Stanley, a US investment firm, the global UAM market will grow at a 30% annual rate between 2021 and 2040, reaching $1.5 trillion by 2040.
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