KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia lacks policy direction (regulations) of mandating urban air mobility (UAM), despite many foreign mobility pioneers rushing to offer air taxi service in the near term.
Aerodyne Geospatial Sdn Bhd (Aerodyne) founder and group chief executive officer Kamarul Muhamed said there was no urgency for this mode of transportation as the UAM regulation was not ready and may likely take at least another two years before the application takes off.
"The progress of commercialising UAM is a long-term journey as it would not be until 2025 for it to become mainstream.
"As far as we (Aerodyne) are concerned, we are not in a rush to develop the UAM. We also realise the air mobility will not take off at least another couple of years – and it is not our main focus,” he told the New Straits Times recently.
He said the company has been working on the project earlier this year together with its partner in Japan to develop Malaysia’s first flying car.
"However, we have made a corporate decision since August to put it on hold temporarily because we (Aerodyne) were growing so fast on our core business,” he added.
The company mainly focuses on Verticality - an artificial intelligence-equipped asset management solution by using the drone.
Kamarul said the UAM project was Aerodyne’s initiative earlier this year through the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Development and it should get the right regulatory support from the government.
However, the plan – flying car project - has been halted as the company was aggressively growing globally in the last three months.
Recently, Aerodyne, an international AI-driven drone-based solutions provider, acquired a controlling interest in the services business of Measure UAS Inc, one of the leading aerial intelligence companies in the US.
A new business entity, Aerodyne Measure Inc, has been formed to serve enterprise clients in North America.
The acquisition was part of Aerodyne’s aggressive expansion strategy to become the number one drone-based solution provider in the world.
“We just acquired a company in the US and opened an office in India in August with 30 employees. There were too many things happening for our core business and we have been focusing on it. On the aerial mobility side, we actually have put on hold for the time being,” he said.
It was reported that Malaysia’s flying car took off during a private demonstration event late last month.
Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said the ministry is in talks with Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) to regulate a framework in legalising air mobility sector in the country.
Aerodyne is one of the world’s leading drone services providers, operating in 25 countries with about 330 employees globally.
“We are a Malaysian company and just turned five years old. We are also ranked third globally in drone services company,” he said.
Kamarul said Aerodyne uses drone technology to do disruptive enterprise solutions for its customers in the vertical asset management, especially for infrastructure.
“We help clients to look after their infrastructure assets such as their power line, wind, and solar farms. For example, we look on roads and bridges as well as ports in Japan,” he said.
Kamarul said Aerodyne has about 250 drones in operations locally for commercial use, particularly for inspection involving special work that requires senses for hyperspectral work.
“We use a drone that has an ultrasonic sensor. It is mostly being used for industrial application such as in oil and gas,” he said, adding that the market size of drone services in Malaysia is valued around RM500 million for commercial use such as in the agricultural sector.