Behold, the VoloIQ cometh

Redmond, Washington (USA); Bruchsal, GERMANY – VoloDrone. VoloCity. VoloPort. VoloConnect.

All these transport and infrastructure systems belong to German electronic Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturer Volocopter and very soon, they will all fall under a single digital operating ecosystem.

Behold the VoloIQ. In all its glory.

Set to become the brains of Volocopter’s entire eVTOL ecosystem, VoloIQ is the brainchild of the collaboration between the aircraft developer and multi-national computing conglomerate, Microsoft.

In an announcement made yesterday, Volocopter said its partnership with Microsoft will see the two develop an aerospace cloud system in Microsoft Azure that will address the nascent cloud computing requirements for eVTOLs, UAM, and autonomous aviation.

Once the system is ready, 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,” the company said in a statement. “Its modular structure will be vast, covering aspects like booking and e-commerce, commercial scheduling, operational network planning, flight planning, flight monitoring, supplying airspace digital twins, and vehicle data logging and analysis.”

Microsoft Azure’s primary objective in this setup will be to securely interconnect all these UAM ecosystem elements into one integrated set of services.

And the groundwork towards achieving this objective will see the two companies working to ensure that Microsoft Azure meets the VoloIQ’s needs for commercial operations.

Ensuring that Azure meets all the requirements for the VoloIQ’s flight and service support for Volocopter’s eVTOL ecosystem in real time will not be easy; what with unmanned air mobility being a fluid concept right now, with constantly moving targets as regards the technology itself and the law.

But that is a challenge that Volocopter and Microsoft will relish.

“Having Microsoft on board as a project partner and investor is proof that the solutions Volocopter creates – like the VoloIQ – are pioneering and hold remarkable market potential,” said Alexander Oelling, Volocopter’s Chief Digital Officer. “We’re proud that Microsoft Azure is the one to provide a secure cloud and thus to ensure safety remains at the forefront of our operations.”

Oelling expressed confidence that Microsoft – whose coming on board was first made public in 2020 – is the ideal partner to help Volocopter realise its dream for the VoloIQ: that of providing complete digital transparency and greater ecosystem efficiency in real time.

By utilising this digital resource, Volocopter’s services – and all the relevant process elements needed to realize this service – will be user-friendly and digitally accessible for customers, pilots, operators, and stakeholders alike, the company says.

Furthermore, the VoloIQ’s solid scope will streamline Volocopter’s transition into an autonomous air taxi services provider when the time comes and bolster its efficient maintenance and infrastructure as soon as it becomes operational.

Uli Homann, CVP of Cloud and AI at Microsoft, was equally bullish about the prospects of developing a commercial aerospace cloud platform with Volocopter that will work seamlessly as demanded.

“From the newest technologies to regulation, creating solutions to seamlessly address the cloud computing requirements for supporting continued advancements in aviation is a complex endeavour,” Homann said. “We certainly see the potential a secure, robust, and efficient cloud platform could offer aerospace and urban air mobility operators.

“Working in collaboration with Volocopter, we will start to build the foundation for a commercial model for aerospace cloud.”

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