Urban Air Mobility

Posted by Flux on 

29 March 2019

Urban air mobility refers to the use of aerial autonomous vehicles (AAV) or vertical take off and land (VTOL) vehicles to transport people living in some of the worlds most populated urban areas. The reason behind this is to ease urban traffic congestion, but also offer a more convenient and fast mode of transport for those who will be able to afford it. A recent report, by Roland Berger’s, on Urban Air Mobility projected that close to 100 000 passenger drones would be in operation in 2050 in about 100 cities worldwide (with 1000 passenger drones in operation in each city). Continue reading to see how some companies are partaking in making this reality happen.

SkyGrid is the world’s first artificial intelligence and blockchain-powered aerial operating system that aims to safely integrate the existing transport and travel infrastructure with autonomous air vehicles. It was developed by Spark Cognition, an AI start up, and Boeing. The grid has been created to take into consideration traffic tracking, data analytics, cyber security, and manage the traffic created by unmanned air crafts – in order to ensure that there is safe and seamless transportation of people.


Uber has taken the lead in the air mobility race by creating UberAIR, a platform that offers a drone hailing service for individuals that would be interested in that mode of travel. UberAIR will work in a similar way as UberX and UberBLACK. The advantage that Uber has is that they have a bank of data collected from their ride hailing app that will be useful in determining where the hub locations are, what the platform size are and minimum ground time will be. It is going to be the future of aerial ride sharing at a large scale. It aims to democratise aerial ride sharing so that more individuals can benefit from the service. They hope to launch this service in the following cities: Japan,Tokyo, Osaka, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Melbourne or Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and Paris.

Above: UBERAIR: Closer than you think | Uber

Aeromobil’s Flying Taxi 

Aeromobil has created an autonomous flying car, that can operate on the ground, but can also be flown. It can be used as a personal vehicle or a passenger vehicle for 4 people. They already have two prototypes: Aeromobil 4.0 STOL and Aeromobil 5.0 STOL. The latest Aeromobil flying car (5.0 STOL) is said to be the first and only electric VTOL to also drive on the road, enabling flexible door-to-door flying-taxi service.

Above: AeroMobil 5.0 vision

With all of the above considered it seems that the trend of urban air mobility is set to gain traction as more stakeholders get involved. Clearly the sky is the limit when it comes to autonomous travel.

By Tumelo Mojapelo

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About Tumelo
Tumelo Mojapelo is a silent force behind the scenes at Flux Trends, and steers the direction of the content created by the Flux Trends Team. Her interest in trends analysis emanates from her desire to want to give people opportunities to do, think and act better – to make better decisions because they understand the connections between seemingly unrelated factors and phenomena.


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Image credit: NASA AND UAS Vision AND Daily Mail AND IPMLLP
Video credit: Uber AND Aeromobil

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