Rapid developments in non-aerospace technology such as electric drives, sensors, communication and data sciences result in a wide range of aircraft configurations and operational concepts so as to meet the requirements for Urban Air Mobility.
To enable the novel traffic concept Urban Air Mobility (UAM), certain key research issues have to be resolved:
- Maturity of technology (in terms of safety, reliability, noise, emissions, operating cost);
- operational viability (business model, reliability, competitive standing against other modes of transport, integration into the urban environment);
- regulatory sign-off (safety, airspace and ground capacity, backing by local authorities);
- acceptance by the public (noise, emissions, visual impressions, operating cost, development of infrastructure);
- further development of necessary key technologies (flight control, automation and artificial intelligence, trajectory management, sense and avoid, HMI, assistance systems, energy and propulsion systems, lightweight design).
Most of these issues are far beyond anything we had to deal with so far be it in aviation in general or with regard to any single aircraft. It is therefore a major goal of joint research efforts to render possible cutting-edge aircraft concepts while focusing particularly on minimising noise and energy consumption, developing airspace integration concepts, understanding and highlighting advantages of UAM with regard to urban traffic systems and inciting general public acceptance of these novel applications. Sparked by the rise of urban initiatives and innovative enterprises entering the air transport market, it is intended to intensify information sharing and co-operation on regional, national and international levels.