Logistics and Transport, Technologies 4.0, Engineering and Services for Industry

Urban air mobility: revolution in transport

15 de September de 2023

  • The mobility of the future will also and especially be aerial: we are facing imminent technological developments and advances that can respond to some mobility challenges in cities; such as pollution, traffic flow, medical needs and freight transport.
  • At the forefront of this new landscape are the eVOLTs, vertical take-off and landing electric vehicles that can reach a speed of 300 km/h, with a range of 80 to 250 kilometres and which can be piloted autonomously or semi-autonomously.

eVOLTS and latest developments

With climate needs driving changes in mobility and the modernisation of urban spaces in cities, eVOLTs appear as an immediate response to these challenges.

The aim is to democratise flight with electronic control technologies such as fly-by-wire systems, which will simplify handling by establishing communication protocols between these aerial vehicles, enabling traffic control and collision avoidance.

Leading companies are already working around the clock to offer a range of proposals with different solutions. Air giant Airbus has already announced its flying taxi, CityAirbus, with a range of 80 kilometres and a speed of 20 km/h, which is expected to make its first flight later this year. Joby, a leading company in the sector, is committed to offering a shared transport service, but with a speed that could reach up to 250 km/h. Within this panorama, we can also find companies such as Volcopter, which offer solutions for the transport of goods, with a load capacity of up to 200 kilos.

Sooner rather than later

With rapid advances in innovation, urban air mobility is expected to become a reality in Europe within 2 to 4 years, making the airspace above cities an extension of public space on the ground. In economic and employment terms, the size of the European Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market is expected to be 4.2 billion euros by 2030, thus creating thousands of jobs for this new vector of air mobility.

However, this requires overcoming major challenges such as the implementation of adequate infrastructure and the creation of specific regulations and standards to ensure the safety and integration of eVTOLs in urban airspace. They will also need to be price competitive and accessible to a large part of the population, although this will require progress in technology and adoption.

Las necesidades que resuelven

It is now possible to book an air taxi in Spain!

From the Balearic Islands, only temporarily and as a pilot test, it is possible to book an air taxi trip. The aim of these tests is to detect the best routes and locations to locate the vertiports, places from where the drones will land and take off, both for the delivery of goods and the transport of people. In relation to this, Ferrovial will initiate a project to develop more than 20 sustainable vertiports in Spain, which will be connected to each other with the aim of replacing part of the current journeys made by car, reducing congestion and CO2 emissions on the roads.

All that eVOLTs have to offer

Urban air mobility applications are manifold and for a variety of purposes, from freight transport to humanitarian aid. Aquí os dejamos los 5 principales usos que se contemplan para los eVOLT.

  • Transport and freight: delivery of goods to speed up parcel deliveries in cities, especially last mile services.
  • Medical assistance: offers faster arrival of medical personnel or medical equipment than by road.
  • Firefighting: assists in urban firefighting, rescue and evacuation.
  • Aerotaxis: the first of these will be between 4 and 6 passengers to speed up traffic and reduce CO2 emissions.
  • Humanitarian assistance: in natural disasters that are difficult to access, search and rescue work.

We are undoubtedly facing a change in urban mobility and a key element for the new Smart Cities, where sustainable development and greater resource efficiency are essential to build the mobility and industries of the future.