Urban air mobility is a fascinating concept which can change city travels forever. It can make humanity’s dreams about flying cars come true. But are people ready for such a revolution?
Invention of aircraft was a milestone in the history of transportation. Ability to take to the skies has reshaped our civilization. However, it took some time for people to fully adapt to those new technologies. Today, traveling on long distances by airplane is a common thing. How long does it take people to get used to urban air mobility? After all, a flying car still seems like a science fiction idea. What needs to be changed? Let’s answer the three most important questions about when will UAM become available worldwide.
Are urban air mobility vehicles ready to travel?
Let’s start with the very basis of every transport: a vehicle. We talked about urban mobility aircraft in our various articles before. The aircraft used for air transportation need to be reliable enough to operate in the complicated urban environment. It has to be light, quiet and safe for the surrounding. The best solution to match all those requirements is an electric, unmanned aerial vehicle.
Currently, the work on “flying car” development is very advanced. Many companies, like Uber or Airbus have already presented functional urban air mobility prototypes. They still need more practical tests in actual urban areas. However, from the technological point of view, vehicles like Volocopter or City Airbus are ready to fly.
Are cities ready for UAM solutions?
As you can see, UAM vehicles are well prepared for work. Far more complicated matters are cities themselves. To enable UAM travels, governments must make some necessary legislation preparations. As for now, there are no regulations concerning UAM solutions in most cities around the world. Without them, traveling by flying car will be simply illegal.
There is also a matter of city design. As a completely new mode of transportation, urban air mobility vehicles need special infrastructure to operate. Even as vertical take-off and landing aircraft (VTOL), flying cars must have some designated places to land. As electric vehicles, they will also need to have some special docking stations to recharge batteries.
Are we ready for urban air mobility?
Finally, the last question concerns us. Are people ready to travel by urban air vehicles? After all, they do not resemble people’s imaginations about a flying car. In practice, UAM vehicles are going to be more like autonomous, unmanned flying taxicabs. Owning such aircraft is likely to be a rare situation. And operating an urban air mobility vehicle by private pilot will simply be impossible due to safety considerations.
But it doesn’t mean that UAM solutions are going to be less popular. We are already traveling by on-demand services in city areas on our daily basis. Urban air mobility will simply take taxicabs and ride-hailing services on a literally higher level. Such a solution will surely make city travels a lot faster and easier.