Bosch develops sensor unit for air taxis

Bosch develops sensor unit for air taxis

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Experts predict strong growth for the market for electric air taxis: observers expect 3.000 such aircraft worldwide in 2025; by 2050 their number will rise to around 100.000 units. The management consultancy Morgan Stanley estimates the market volume for air taxis for the year 2040 at 1.5 trillion US dollars. Already now, Bosch is bringing a sensor box for controlling these aircraft onto the market, based on MEMS sensors from the automotive industry that are manufactured in mass production.

In order for air taxis to remain affordable to use, it must also be possible to develop and build the aircraft themselves cost-effectively. Conventional avionics electronics, such as those used in airliners and fighter jets, are too expensive – and also too large and heavy. This is where Bosch sees its opportunity to help shape the future market of suppliers for air taxis. The company wants to contribute its experience from the automotive industry. Bosch has assembled a sensor box for a flight attitude universal control unit from commercially available MEMS sensors, such as those used for automated driving or for Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

According to Bosch, the device contains “dozens” of sensors – for acceleration in three axes, for rotation rates, inclination angles, and the Earth’s magnetic field. It also contains pressure sensors that can be used to determine flight altitude and – via dynamic pressure – flight speed. Manufacturers of flying taxis can install the box in their flight control systems using the plug-and-play principle.

The box is to compete with current sensor solutions for aviation, which, however, carry a price tag of several tens of thousands of euros. Bosch will not reveal how much Bosch will charge for its sensor box – but it will only be a fraction, the company advertises.

Related articles:

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Frankfurt airport operator tests concepts for autonomous air taxis

Developer consortium demos flying taxi concept

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