On-Demand Mobility

To see the future of urban air mobility, look to the skies

Engineers are always thinking of better ways to do things. We like to see our work make life better for the people it is intended to serve. Because innovation is in our DNA, our engineers strive to create solutions that can solve today’s challenges.


Perhaps that is also why it was rewarding to see the Bell exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) become a hub of activity. There was a constant stream of people who came to see our answers to on-demand mobility (ODM) – rivaling any of the other new and exciting technologies displayed there.

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I stood back and watched from behind the crowd as the Bell Nexus was revealed to the world. I knew we had something special to share, but the reaction from those in attendance; the accolades, media stories and personal comments confirmed Bell has a path to address transportation challenges. 

Looking at the future development of our cities, we understand that paving more roads can’t be the only fix. To truly address the issue of urban mobility, we need to look to the skies.

The Bell Nexus will make congested roadways a thing of the past. We started with safety in mind – it had to be something that we would feel comfortable letting our own families ride.

The hybrid-electric aircraft we have designed has six ducted fans as the primary source of lift. It will take off vertically like a helicopter, then quickly converts into horizontal flight. This gives the Nexus the speed of a traditional airplane and the agility of a rotorcraft. The cabin has room for four passengers, a few bags, and a pilot.

Ultimately, we believe a fully-electric, autonomous aircraft is the way forward, and we are continuing to work toward those goals.

Mitch Snyder, CEO, Bell

Ultimately, we believe a fully-electric, autonomous aircraft is the way forward, and we are continuing to work toward those goals.

You’ll see that others have their own version of an “air taxi”. However, technology is just one part of the equation. Without the regulatory and community relationships as well as infrastructure support, bringing a new product to certification will be difficult. What makes Bell different is we’ve been making innovations fly safely for more than 80 years.

We believe that ODM goes beyond moving people in an “air taxi”; we’ve also designed the Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) to move goods. The APT 20 and APT 70 are small, autonomous aircraft that will change the way we deliver products. We also envision this capability will deliver time-sensitive medical items as well as critical supplies for our military.

We’ve been working for years with public and private sectors to bring our vision to life and are looking at everything that might be possible.

We’re discussing what an air management system for these aircraft looks like, and how the 5G network will factor into the communications system. Where do we build the vertiports, and what does a multi-modal system consist of to complete the passenger and delivery experience? All key factors for development.

Our team also spent some time at SXSW. We brought our Future of Flight Control simulators to gather input from people from all walks of life to help design aircraft cockpits and controls for the next generation – whether they are piloting from the air or from the ground.   

The reaction to our ODM solutions has been amazing. People believe that it’s no longer an if – it’s a when this will happen. It will be here sooner that we think; we expect to have aircraft operating by 2025.

It is rare that you have the chance to help chart the course of history. The nearly 7,500 employees at Bell are ready for that challenge.

We are the right company, with the right talent and products to bring ODM to life.