On behalf of Volocopter, Daimler AG, the state of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Stuttgart, the AirTaxiS team of the HfT Stuttgart is investigating the acceptance of air taxis in the population
At a time when politics and science are looking for a joint solution for a successful turnaround in mobility, new mobility concepts are indispensable. Especially for a congested capital like Stuttgart. The company Volocopter presented a new solution to the public at an event on 14.09.2019 on the premises of the Mercedes-Benz Museum - flight taxis. In the future, a flight with an air taxi should not cost much more than a comparable taxi ride, the company promised. The AirTaxiS team of the Business Psychology course at the University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Patrick Planing, investigated whether this new mobility innovation will be accepted by the population. For this purpose they developed a questionnaire based on two preliminary studies and interviewed the visitors of the Volocopter event, which also included the first public flight of an air taxi on European soil. A historical event, which was also interesting for many members of the press.
The students of business psychology at the HFT Stuttgart have investigated the acceptance of air taxis for Volocopter at the airports of Frankfurt and Stuttgart. The cooperation was professional and cooperative and the study results have given us valuable insights into one of the most important factors for the introduction of air taxis in the world's major cities. This student project has therefore also led to further cooperation in the field of research.
The aim of the survey was not only to find out whether such a new technology would be accepted by the population, but also to find out whether habits and everyday life of consumers would change as a result of a market launch of air taxis. With this goal, the AirTaxiS team started its work in August 2019.
The challenge here was to ask people their opinion about a technology that does not yet exist on the market in this form. This could be compared to the smartphone revolution; who would have thought 10 years ago that this technology could shape our everyday life to this extent?
The fact that the participants had the opportunity to see the Volocopter flying up close and personal and even to sit in it, significantly reduced the future-utopian distance to the subject of air taxis among those surveyed. On both days of the event, the 1,303 participants in the study were questioned about their attitudes towards flight taxis using a paper questionnaire.
The data suggests that the acceptance among the population is surprisingly high and also results in a high willingness to pay. The following is a small selection of the interesting findings.
More than half of the respondents (54.5%) stated that they had heard of air taxis before the event, whereas 7.6% indicated a high level of knowledge.
Two thirds stated that they would use a Volocopter. 45.3% can even imagine that Volocopters could become a part of their everyday life.
According to the respondents, the implementation of air taxis in Stuttgart would not have any negative effects on the city. According to the almost unanimous opinion of the respondents, this would greatly enhance Stuttgart's reputation as a location for innovation. For a flight from the airport to the city centre, most people would invest more than EUR 60.
Click here for the details of the study.
The results of this study have laid the foundation for further acceptance studies in this field, as they have assessed the basic acceptance of this new technology in the population. Future studies should deal with the scenario of the actually experienced flight and examine the acceptance of the participants in real usage conditions.