Aviation-The New Mobility Innovation
The introduction of Urban Air Mobility is closer than you think.
What do you do when the roads around the world are fuller than ever? What do you do when city governments don’t know how to handle their mobility issues anymore? With the current growth of cities these are questions that might need to be answered quite soon. Especially when keeping in mind the growing need to bring ourselves from A to B in the greenest way possible. Traveling through air solely on electricity could be the perfect solution. And although that might sound futuristic, the concept is already being tested in multiple countries across the globe.
Urban Air Mobility develops globally
Two Urban Air Mobility (UAM) companies are testing their vehicles in Dubai: Ehang and Volocopter. The latter of the two is also active in Singapore. Joby Aviation is flying over the beautiful city of San Francisco and Cora is testing their flying taxi in New Zealand.
Although the vehicles of these companies might differ here and there, they are all built around the same focus points. Safety first, because if traveling through air becomes mainstream, obviously this brings some serious safety issues to the table. Second is low noise production. These vehicles will travel through urban areas, so they will have to be as silent as possible. Thirdly, the drones should optimize the range and speed for its passengers, so that it saves enough time to make the ride worthwhile.
Suited for the city
All of these vehicles are capable of a vertical take-off and landing, just like a regular helicopter, so landing platforms can be really small; perfect for urban areas. And while some of the tested systems have to be controlled by a pilot inside the drone, others are developed to be remotely piloted and can even be autonomous in the future. Autonomous vehicles will lead to safer travels and opens up the space of the pilot for an extra passenger.
UAM real in ten years
Although test flights are already being made, UAM has a long way to go before becoming the new mainstream mode of transportation. Governments are far from ready to allow these vehicles in the air above their cities. Currently no laws exists for this kind of public transportation through the air, so the implementation will surely take a couple of years. On the other side, large investments are already being made in this technology. There are even players in the industry who say that if these investments continue, UAM can be reality within a decade.
So although it might take a little patience, the future will surely bring some major changes for the mobility industry. Time saving transportation without the pollution, quieter cities and views most of us can only dream of. It may sound too good to be true, but didn’t all great inventions sound like that before they became reality?