AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ADVANCED AIR MOBILITY (AAM) ECOSYSTEM
Today’s major modes of transport—individually owned cars, trains and buses - are on the verge of disruption. Mobility is about to become cheaper, more convenient, a better experience, safer, and cleaner — not 50 or even 25 years from now, but within the next decade. The up-and-com- ing transformation has the potential to be as pro- found as the one that put horses to pasture and changed industries and societies worldwide. This nascent new sector continues to emerge, even as the transport and mobility industry suffers from COVID-19. It might yet prove to be the most fun- damental change to the aviation industry since the advent of the jet age.
Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing or ‘eVTOL’ aircraft are new, exotic, and real. We will use the moniker ‘air taxi’ in this report, as it’s the passen- ger-carrying vehicles we’re largely focusing on in this research. Their cargo-carrying counter- parts (such as from Matternet, UPS Flight Forward, and Zipline) are already demonstrating the commercial viability of small, electric “aircraft”. These unmanned and largely autonomous drones are paving the way for larger, passenger-carrying aircraft—which by contrast are years, if not dec- ades away from large-scale commercial service.
In 2021, teams of aerospace engineers at start- ups and large corporations alike are on the cusp of certifying first-generation electric ‘air taxis’ with ranges of up to 300km and capacity for two to eight passengers.
The promise of sustainably powered, emis- sions-free flying machines that might transform passenger transportation is enormous, and we’ll soon find out which (if any) of this new category of aircraft live up to the multi-trillion-dollar market hype.
The Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry is in its infancy. It is an entirely new industry in emer- gence with no off-the-shelf concepts and solu-tions available today. It’s a complex ecosystem with tough problems to solve, including designing a safe vehicle, offering the service to passengers, designing safe traffic management for unmanned and manned vehicles, as well as building infra- structure that integrates with existing modes of transportation. In this research project - a joint collaboration between Osinto and the Lufthansa Innovation Hub - the aim is to contribute by providing insights into the structure of this develop- ing industry. For that purpose, large amounts of data (e.g. patent, VC funding, news articles) have been collected to map relationships, identify pat- terns, and derive insights—the most salient of which are shared in this paper. This whitepaper is meant to provide a detailed, but non-exhaustive glimpse into the complexity of the current AAM ecosystem.
To find all relevant stakeholders in the global AAM industry and to identify respective business relationships between them, we analysed thousands of data points and visualised the findings in an ecosystem mapping view.
To do so, we utilised Osinto’s Cloud Empire platform, a knowledge graph of market data collected through Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). It enables business relationships to be mapped and explored and uses a synthesis of machine learning and human intelligence to analyse information.
You can find Part Two of the whitepaper here, where we visualise the complex network of stakeholders that make up the AAM ecosystem: