Literally hundreds of companies are jostling for position as this nascent air mobility tech prepares for its prime time debut. But with renders, press releases and SPAC fundraising efforts flying as fast and frequently as these radically different new vehicles claim to, how do we know which ones are really taking off?
It's time for an eVTOL reality check – and that's exactly what consulting group SMG is trying to achieve with its Advanced Air Mobility Reality Index. SMG is not technology-focused; these guys don't care if a company is building an autonomous cargo machine, a medium-range winged tilt-rotor or a simple manned multicopter. They'll all find their place – what SMG tries to determine is simply this: how close is a given company to delivering their aircraft in volume?
It's a very useful way to look at this exciting new space, and there are certainly some surprises on the list. Here's the current AAM Reality Index as it stands in early May 2021:
To talk through the thinking behind the index, as well as SMG's educated perspective on the top contenders, we caught up with SMG's Sergio Cecutta, the man behind the index, for an extended and very informative chat. What follows is an edited transcript.
Loz: Maybe let's let's start with this: what is SMG and what are you guys trying to do here?
Sergio Cecutta: Sure. We are a consulting firm that basically works on aerospace, defense, and automotive – especially what's called today, auto tech; that would be autonomy and electrification in cars. We work on the growth side of the house. Companies that want to launch new products, new markets, understand new geographies, pricing, supply chain, funding, M&A (mergers & acquisitions), that is what we do.