FAI, August 28, 2018 - Urban traffic congestion is a huge headache for all major cities, with public transport infrastructures often crowded and roads frustratingly busy for drivers.
How long will it be before humans take to the skies for reliable, quick transport around the city?
The major question hovering over the future of air taxis is that of safety, and working out how taxi drones could fit into the lower airspace.
This link between innovation and safety in drone technology is under discussion at the FAI International Drone Conference and Expo, with airspace experts from around the world sharing the platform with the most brilliant minds in drone innovation, in the hopes that the drone ecosystem can be built via close collaboration.
There are several businesses developing individual urban air transport; amongst them is German company Volocopter. At the International Drone Conference on Saturday 1st September at 14:00, Max Hjalmarsson will present the Volocopter X2 - an 18-rotor taxi drone - and invite delegates to imagine the yellow cabs of the future.
“Its closer than you think, we expect the next demo cases to happen in 2019 and the first commercial routes will be open for use within five years. In Bruchsal, near Volocopter’s headquarters, the Volocopter flies regularly as part of our flight test program, showing that technologically, air taxis are possible. Now we are working together with cities and partners to show how such an air taxi system can be integrated in existing infrastructure.”. said Alex Zosel, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Volocopter.
Airspace safety is a central focus at the FAI International Drones Conference and Expo, taking place in Lausanne from 31st August – 2nd September, with half a day dedicated to drone safety on 1st September. Many ATC (Air traffic control) experts will attend the conference, and presentations on the subject include:
- ‘Case Studies on Infrastructure for Drone Traffic Management Systems’ - Sebastian Babiarz of AirMap
- ‘Using on-the-ground networks of sensors to capture low-altitude air traffic’ - Manu Lubrano, Involi
- ‘Rules in Europe, U-Space and Urban Mobility’ – Yves Morier, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
- ‘How drones revolutionise the classic concepts of airspace management’ – Benoit Curdy, Global UTM Association