Abu Dhabi is gearing up to make its mark in the world of smart and autonomous vehicles, with flying taxis set to take flight by 2026.
Archer Aviation, a prominent player in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has joined hands with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to kickstart air taxi operations in the UAE’s capital.
Air Taxis in Abu Dhabi
The plan is to reduce those time-consuming 60 to 90-minute car rides to a mere 10 to 20 minutes of swift electric air taxi flights aboard the Archer’s piloted four-passenger “Midnight” aircraft. These eVTOLs are designed for quick back-to-back flights with minimal charging time between each journey.
Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry
ADIO is extending its support by offering incentives for Archer to establish its first international headquarters and manufacturing facilities in the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) Cluster right here in Abu Dhabi.
Archer is also working in tandem with global manufacturing partner Stellantis, alongside local collaborators in the UAE, to bolster its aircraft manufacturing capabilities and set up its Centre of Excellence in the emirate.
Notably, Archer has secured an impressive $1.1 billion in funding so far, with investments pouring in from the likes of Mubadala Capital, United Airlines, Stellantis, and Boeing.
CEO of Archer Aviation, Adam Goldstein, expressed his excitement about this venture, making the UAE their first international market outside the United States.
Archer, Falcon Aviation Agreement
In another exciting development, Archer has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Falcon Aviation, which is all set to operate their air taxis throughout Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
To complement the thriving SAVI cluster in Masdar City, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office is collaborating with Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA), the largest commercial helicopter operator in the Middle East.
eVTOL MRO Facility
ADA is on track to establish a cutting-edge eVTOL MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Operations) facility, further enhancing Abu Dhabi’s extensive array of MRO businesses and promoting smart and autonomous vehicle solutions and applications.
In line with SAVI’s mission to harness synergies and shared technologies, ADIO and ADA will also collaborate with local UAE airlines, global eVTOL original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and key international partners.
ADA will play a pivotal role in bringing together all relevant stakeholders to advance value chain development. They aim to partner with technology companies operating within SAVI and commercialize intellectual property and innovations created through joint research and development.
Additionally, ADA will facilitate knowledge transfer and national capabilities through its pilot training facility, thereby advancing eVTOL services.
With state-of-the-art facilities and value-added services, Abu Dhabi’s SAVI cluster is well-equipped to drive innovation in the smart and autonomous vehicle sector. ADA will collaborate closely with local regulators to establish an efficient, clear, and proactive regulatory framework that supports global aviation mobility.
Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) is renowned for providing aviation offshore oil support, VVIP passenger transportation services, Search and Rescue operations, and a wide range of aviation services worldwide, contributing significantly to Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas production.