Volocopter has announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to develop an aerospace cloud system in Microsoft Azure that will address 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, with a modular structure covering booking and e-commerce, commercial scheduling, operational network planning, flight planning, flight monitoring, supplying airspace digital twins, and vehicle data logging and analysis.

Volocopter’s chief digital officer Alexander Oelling said: “Having Microsoft on board as a project partner and investor is proof that solutions like VoloIQ hold remarkable market potential.

“We are 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 collaborate to enable flight and service support for VoloCity, VoloDrone, and VoloConnect eVTOL aircraft, alongside VoloPort ground infrastructure real time support. 

Microsoft’s CVP of cloud and AI Uli Homann added: “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 see the potential a secure, robust, and efficient cloud platform could offer aerospace and urban air mobility operators, and we will build the foundation for commercial aerospace by collaborating with Volocopter.”

The collaboration between Volocopter and Microsoft was first announced in October 2020, when Volocopter and Lufthansa Industry Solutions revealed plans to develop VoloIQ using Microsoft Azure.

VoloIQ’s aim is to provide digital transparency and ecosystem efficiency in real time, where process elements will be available to customers, pilots, operators, and stakeholders alike. 

VoloIQ’s will streamline Volocopter’s transition into an autonomous air taxi services provider and bolster efficient maintenance and infrastructure when it becomes operational.

In May 2021, Volocopter unveiled its newest VoloConect eVTOL aircraft as a longer-range, four-seater designed to complement VoloDrone, VoloPort and VoloIQ.