Archer Aviation plans to launch its first urban air mobility network in Los Angeles by 2024, as the company looks to address some of California’s mobility challenges and provide an easier way for people to travel in between dense metropolitan areas.
The company – which is valued at approximately $3.8 billion following a recent SPAC merger with Atlas Crest Investment Corp – is supporting efforts to educate those living in LA about new transportation technology.
Archer’s eVTOL aircraft is expected to travel distances of 60 miles at speeds of 150mph. A full-scale version is set to be revealed later this year.
Adam Goldstein, co-Founder and co-CEO of Archer, said: “Our partnership with the City of Los Angeles will be one of our major milestones in bringing quick, safe, affordable everyday flight to dense urban locations.”
Brett Adcock, co-Founder and co-CEO of Archer, added: “In identifying our first city partnership, it was critical to have a shared vision when it comes to how people will move around more seamlessly and with less impact on the environment around them. Working with Urban Movement Labs will be invaluable as we collectively advance our programs ahead of our first customer flights in 2024.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the Urban Air Mobility Partnership in December 2020, which is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the U.S. to make the city a leader on Urban Air Mobility.
As part of a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), and Urban Movement Labs (UML), the program will develop strategies for the integration of UAM into existing transportation networks and land use policies. UML and the City of Los Angeles also plan to collaborate to develop the design and access of vertiports.
Lilly Shoup, Executive Director of Urban Movement Labs, said: “Our vision is to improve mobility, reduce congestion, create employment, and promote healthier communities through public and private sector collaboration.
“Working with companies like Archer which are at the forefront of technological innovation in the emerging UAM space delivers a unique opportunity to take the perspective of our programs beyond just the two dimensions of roads and railways, and into the skies.”
As the same time as Archer’s joint SPAC deal, United Airlines – one of the biggest airliners in the world – announced it has placed a commercial order for $1 billion worth of eVTOL aircraft from Archer, with an option to buy an additional $500 million of aircraft.
Once the aircraft are in operation and have met United’s operating and business requirements, United, together with Mesa Airlines, would acquire a fleet of up to 200 eVTOL aircraft. They would be operated by a partner to give customers a quick, economical and low-carbon way to get to United’s hub airports.
Michael Leskinen, Vice President of Corporate Development and Investor Relations at United Airlines, added: “Archer’s commitment to launch their first eVTOL aircraft in one of United’s hubs means our customers are another step closer to reducing their carbon footprint at every stage of their journey, before they even take their seat.
“We’re confident that Los Angeles is only the beginning for Archer and we look forward to helping them extend their reach across all of our hubs.”