Having cleared the hurdle of delivering a dedicated electric vehicle to the luxury segment in the form of the 2020 Taycan, Porsche is looking ahead to a future where automakers have to do more than sell cars to remain relevant.
The automaker's finance and technology chief said recently that Porsche will explore further investments in companies that are exploring ways to fight runaway gridlock in a future where even more people will be seeking urban transportation solutions.
"Shared mobility," Lutz Meschke told Autocar in an interview published on Monday, "is not enough—it will not bring us significant profit share." Instead, Porsche is looking to invest in start-ups and other ventures that will spread its focus beyond its core automotive business.
Porsche's first major foray into a sharing-economy business were Porsche Passport and Porsche Drive; the former is a subscription service allowing customers to lease on a per-month basis, while the latter is for more traditional, short-term car rentals.
These business help Porsche reach customers who are not interested in traditional, long-term vehicle ownership, but they don't address the key issue at the center of future ride-sharing: traffic.
One solution may be adding a third dimension to urban trips. Porsche and Boeing announced earlier in October that the two would partner on an "urban air mobility" project, which is another way of saying flying taxis.
The joint project is called Aurora, and the two companies are banking on a premium approach to shared mobility. While most flying taxi projects have been focused on mass-market services, Porsche and Boeing are aiming for the top end of the marketplace.
While the word "taxi" is still being associated with the project, we expect the end result will lend itself to adoption by higher-end limousine providers and private livery services, rather than the everyman-friendly mission of the likes of Uber Air.