World Economic Forum and the City of Los Angeles: roadmap to support the roll-out of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in cities

The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the City of Los Angeles have released a roadmap to support the roll-out of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in cities, founded on seven key principles of implementation, reports.

They are Sustainability, Low Noise, Local Workforce Development, Safety, Equity of Access, Multimodal Connectivity and Purpose-Driven Data Sharing. All seven will be used to implement UAM in Los Angeles and aim to help policy makers in the city to improve quality of life with safer, cleaner, quieter and more accessible transport.

Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, said: “Our city’s strength stems from our creativity, our innovative spirit and our willingness to test new ideas on our streets – and in our skies – that will inspire and change the world for the better. Even in the face of COVID-19 today, our eyes are fixed on the horizon of a reimagined tomorrow, where Urban Air Mobility is a central part of a safe, sustainable, equitable future.”

Credit: World Economic Forum

The roadmap – called Principles of the Urban Sky – has been developed over the past nine months by a working group of more than 50 manufacturers, service providers, infrastructure developers, academics, community organisations and government planners.

And with a view towards sharing it with other cities worldwide, this collaboration has been coordinated with technical and operational efforts led by Los Angeles Department of Transportation, in conjunction with national authorities.

Christoph Wolff, Head of Shaping the Future of Mobility at the World Economic Forum, said: “The current pandemic has created new challenges for transport networks and infrastructure around the world. As we build back better, these principles provide an ethical framework for planning new modes of aerial transport at the same time as we reinvest in current forms of transit.”

As cities and regions struggle with congestion, pollution and ageing infrastructure, policy-makers are exploring how state-of-the-art aerial platforms can be part of a multi-modal solution. Companies such as Hyundai, Lilium, Volocopter, Wisk and Uber are already developing highly automated, electric flight in low-altitude airspace.

Commenting on this new roadmap for the industry, Pam Cohn, Chief Operating Officer, Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group, said: “In releasing the Principles of the Urban Sky and sharing them with the global community, the World Economic Forum and City of Los Angeles are demonstrating the leadership society needs to address current and future mobility challenges.

“How people move around in 10 years will be different from how people move around today. We look forward to working with the World Economic Forum, the City of Los Angeles and other partners to ensure UAM planning and development efforts worldwide are inclusive, safe, sustainable and people-centred.”

Eric Allison, Head of Uber Elevate, added: “Uber applauds the World Economic Forum and the City of Los Angeles for bringing together industry, local government, and other stakeholders to develop foundational principles to inform a community focused policy framework for urban air mobility.

“Uber Elevate’s vision is to provide a complementary mode of transport that can seamlessly integrate with existing transport systems to offer an efficient and clean alternative to driving in congested urban environments. These principles demonstrate both the industry and local government’s commitment to work together to realize the potential of sustainable urban aviation.”

Urban aerial mobility will also be featured at the World Economic Forum’s upcoming 2020 Sustainable Development Impact Summit. It will focus on innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship.

To read the full report on Principles of the Urban Sky, click here.

Previous articleStanford University, predicting the slow death of lithium-ion batteries
Next articleColorado Springs Utilities, new solar energy and battery facility