Airbus SE is creating a division to oversee futuristic transport options such as flying taxis and on-demand helicopters in a sign the European planemaker is going on the offensive against tech providers and startups encroaching in the market.
The manufacturer named company veteran Eduardo Dominguez Puerta, 40, on Monday to head its newly formed Urban Air Mobility unit. Puerta helped start the firm’s innovation center in Silicon Valley, where he served as chief operating officer.
Projects that will be overseen by the division include an autonomous flying cab prototype called CityAirbus, an electric flying taxi named Vahana and Voom, billed by Airbus as a premier on-demand helicopter booking platform. Ride-hailing app creator Uber Technologies Inc. and startup Kitty Hawk, backed by Google’s co-founder Larry Page, are also working to develop airborne taxis.