Honeywell has signed a collaborative agreement to test and develop new navigation and automatic landing systems for Germany-based Volocopter’s vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) air taxis.

Under the agreement, Honeywell’s autonomous sensing and flight technologies, including inertial measurement units and potentially other urban air mobility (UAM) innovations, will be launched into the transportation market.

The solutions build on technologies that are developed under Europe’s Clean Sky 2 and Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) 2020 industry and government collaboration programmes.

Honeywell and Volocopter will jointly test various sensor-based navigation systems, which will be used in fully electric VTOL aircraft.

“A key goal of our collaboration is to fly a Honeywell inertial measurement-based attitude reference system solution in one of our Volocopters in 2019.”

With these tests, the two companies will be able to create new technologies for UAM.

Volocopter chief technology officer Jan Hendrik Boelens said: “New time-saving, environmentally friendly solutions are required and air taxis will certainly be one of them.

“A key goal of our collaboration is to fly a Honeywell inertial measurement-based attitude reference system solution in one of our Volocopters in 2019.”

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Urban air mobility consists of personal air vehicles such as flying taxis that offer faster movement of people within cities to improve safety and reduce traffic.

These passenger services will eventually include the use of autonomous vehicles.

Honeywell Aerospace Electronic Solutions president Carl Esposito said: “Our global legacy of innovation serves all airspace users, as demonstrated through our involvement in the Clean Sky 2 and SESAR 2020 programmes.”

Last October, Volocopter announced its plans to carry out test flights of its electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxis in Singapore with support from the Ministry of Transport (MOT), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and the Economic Development Board (EDB).