Why are UAV drones key for urban air mobility?

One of the most important concerns about urban air transportation is how UAM vehicles are going to be controlled. The most promising idea is to take solutions from UAV drone development.

To successfully operate in city areas, urban air transportation needs to be as safely as possible. Potential pilots of urban air taxi would meet various challenges. Less risky option is to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to operate in such conditions. This is the reason why unmanned technologies are crucial for the future of urban air mobility.

How can UAV drones contribute to UAM development? 

As a term, UAV has been displaced by a more popular “drone”. In fact, an unmanned aerial vehicle refers to any remotely controlled aircraft. Every drone, no matter of its purpose, is in fact an UAV. The industry of such vehicles has grown largely during the last five years. Drones became an important part of the aviation industry. Why is the key position of unmanned aerial vehicles crucial for the development of urban air mobility?

Flying in urban areas is not an easy task. Putting a human pilot at the controls of such a vehicle may be risky. To safely operate in a city environment, urban air mobility aircraft have to be remotely controlled. Only as an unmanned aerial vehicle, UAM aircraft can run without causing any trouble in your city. Does that mean people’s dreams about private cars won’t come true?

How will unmanned air transportation work? 

Today, it is still hard to say how the future urban air mobility market will look like. The most possible scenario is using UAM solutions strictly for public transport. This way, unmanned aircraft are going to work as on-demand flying service. People will be able to call it just like today’s urban taxis or ride-hailing service.

There is, however, a place for private urban air mobility UAVs in this situation. Someone could buy such a vehicle for his own use only. It would have cost them a lot, and they still wouldn’t be able to operate such aircraft by themselves. This idea of private urban air mobility vehicles would be similar to modern self-driving solutions, like Tesla Autopilot for example.

UAV technological inspirations 

But self-driving isn’t the only notable concept that could be borrowed from UAV development. The drone industry has a lot to offer when it comes to used technologies and materials. Almost a decade of constant improvements has made drones the perfect aircraft to operate in almost any conditions. Some of those solutions may help urban air mobility developers to provide a suitable vehicle for urban travels.

Over the last years, UAVs became lighter, quieter and more energy efficient. Transferring said achievements into the development of urban air mobility will make future flying services a lot more comfortable. Today, we still have to rely on helicopters when it comes to urban air travels. But soon, UAVs capable of carrying people will exit the prototype stage and become widely available in city areas.

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