Today, Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to develop an aerospace cloud system in Microsoft Azure that will address the nascent cloud computing requirements for eVTOLs, UAM, and autonomous aviation. Once primed for commercial use, Azure will support the digital platform VoloIQ, the operating system for Volocopter’s UAM services, and its subsequent transition to autonomous operations.
Volocopter plans to make the VoloIQ its standard UAM operating system for all electric passenger and drone flight operations. Its modular structure will be vast, covering aspects like booking and e-commerce, commercial scheduling, operational network planning, flight planning, flight monitoring, supplying airspace digital twins, and vehicle data logging and analysis. Volocopter has chosen Microsoft Cloud / Azure to securely interconnect all these UAM ecosystem elements into one integrated set of services.
“Having Microsoft on board as a project partner and investor is proof that the solutions Volocopter creates – like the VoloIQ – are pioneering and hold remarkable market potential,” said Alexander Oelling, Volocopter’s Chief Digital Officer. “We’re proud that Microsoft Azure is the one to provide a secure cloud and thus to ensure safety remains at the forefront of our operations.”
Volocopter and Microsoft will begin collaborating by ensuring Microsoft Azure meets the VoloIQ’s needs for commercial operations. Azure will then enable the VoloIQ’s flight and service support for Volocopter’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft (VoloCity, VoloDrone, and VoloConnect), alongside ground infrastructure (VoloPort) support in real time.
“From the newest technologies to regulation, creating solutions to seamlessly address the cloud computing requirements for supporting continued advancements in aviation is a complex endeavor. We certainly see the potential a secure, robust, and efficient cloud platform could offer aerospace and urban air mobility operators,” said Uli Homann, CVP of Cloud and AI at Microsoft. “Working in collaboration with Volocopter, we will start to build the foundation for a commercial model for aerospace cloud.”
The collaboration between Volocopter and Microsoft was first publicized in 2020, when Volocopter and Lufthansa Industry Solutions announced plans to develop the VoloIQ for autonomous aircraft operations using Microsoft Azure.
The VoloIQ’s aim is a straightforward one: to provide complete digital transparency and greater ecosystem efficiency in real time. By utilizing this digital resource, Volocopter’s services – and all the relevant process elements needed to realize this service – will be user-friendly and digitally accessible for customers, pilots, operators, and stakeholders alike. Furthermore, the VoloIQ’s solid scope will streamline Volocopter’s transition into an autonomous air taxi services provider when the time comes and bolster its efficient maintenance and infrastructure as soon as it becomes operational.