Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd. (President: Noriyuki Hara, “MSI”), a subsidiary of MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, Inc. (President & CEO: Yasuyoshi Karasawa), has reached agreement on a business alliance with the German company Volocopter GmbH (CEO: Florian Reuter) which is a pioneer in developing urban air mobility services※1. MSI is a first Japanese company to conclude an alliance agreement with Volocopter.
Having successfully conducted demonstration flights of its Urban Air Mobility aircraft in Singapore and Dubai, Volocopter’ technology is very advanced, as indicated by a design organisation approval※2 obtained relating to “air mobility” from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Beyond building the VoloCity urban air taxi aircraft, the company is looking to build the full ecosystem necessary to make Urban Air Mobility. For this purpose Volocopter is working with international partners to cover aspects like transport services, air traffic control, the development and operation of takeoff and landing sites as well as aircraft maintenance.
As an insurance partner in Asia, MSI will leverage its network that engages in the underwriting business in all 10 ASEAN countries while gathering know-how on the aircraft and operation of “Air mobility”. This is expected to lead to the development of insurance products and services.
※1 Refers to next-generation air mobility by electric power, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), automatic flight, etc.
※2 With regard to SC VTOL, obtained EASA Design Organisation Approval (DOA) in December 2019. This marks the first time that Volocopter has obtained this approval.
1. “Urban Air Mobility” Trends
● “Urban Air Mobility” is catching attention as a new daily public transportation service and emergency transportation tool to supply goods in the event of natural disasters. The investment from a variety of industries is very active. Major companies and startups around the world are developing this type of aircraft towards practical application.
● In Japan, a public-private community has been established, a roadmap toward the air mobility revolution has formulated, and several local governments are accelerating moves, including the use of “Urban Air Mobility”
2．Purpose of Business Alliance
● MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, Inc. aggressively founds start-up business worldwide aiming synergy effects through their corporate venture capital “MS&AD Ventures Inc.” in Silicon Valley, U.S.A..
● MSI is gathering know-how relating to specific operations by building an alliance with Volocopter, which is a pioneering aircraft manufacturer and Urban Air Mobility business developer. We will promote the development of insurance products and services based on the feature of “Urban Air Mobility”
● MSI is keen to solve social issues by providing the know-how gained through this partnership and developing insurance products and services compatible with “Urban Air Mobility”. Those issues and use cases include moving rapidly and comfortably from place to place in cities (the solving of traffic jam problems, etc.), ensuring a means of transportation in mountainous areas as well as the utilization of “Urban Air Mobility” in the event of natural disasters.
３．Summary of Volocopter
|Company name||Volocopter GmbH|
|Head office location||Zeiloch 20, D-76646 Bruchsal, GERMANY|
|Representative CEO||Florian Reuter|
|Year of establishment||2011|
|Main areas of business||Urban Air Mobility air taxi service development; Urban Air Taxis aircraft (eVTOL) development; creation of Urban Air Mobility ecosystem with partners to including infrastructure, services: development, provision of transportation services, air traffic control, development and operation of takeoff and landing sites, aircraft maintenance, etc., relating to “Urban Air Mobility”|
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