Drones are already being used for everything from surveying to asset management. In the future, those uses will extend to passenger journeys using electrically-powered aircraft that can take off and land vertically, giving rise to the concept of Urban Air Mobility (UAM). But how will UAM be integrated into the fabric of a city? And what needs to be done to manage that integration safely and sustainably? These questions are addressed in a new 60-page white paper from construction, engineering and mobility services group - Egis.
Skycities, skyways, skytaxis: dream or destiny? examines the state of UAM today: what is driving it, where the money is and what still needs to be addressed. It then presents a vision for UAM as an integrated form of future transport, from the perspective of hypothetical characters living in two different UAM-enables cities in 2035: first a modern city, akin to Shenzhen in China, where growth is rapid and new infrastructure is emerging out of nothing; second, an old city, akin to Paris, where UAM adds another dimension to an already mature and complex urban fabric.
The paper then considers the infrastructure needed and preparation aspects for urban planners, infrastructure providers, operators and regulators.
Commenting on the publication, Egis Group CEO Laurent Germain said: “I want to thank the many colleagues who contributed to this paper. It was a true collaborative effort, drawing on the skills and expertise of our architects, city and mobility experts, as well as aviation, rail, operations and consulting teams in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. UAM has received a lot of press recently, but Egis is one of the few organisations that are able to help solve the challenges of future mobility, including the digital and physical infrastructure aspects of integrating UAM into the urban environment.
Our understanding of cities, transport, infrastructure and operations give us a wide (and possibly unique) range of perspectives from which to comment. We hope that this paper gets people talking and thinking about the important questions that need to be answered, for the UAM dream to become a positive reality.”