At the Tech for Good Summit in Paris, Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, and Catherine Guillouard, CEO of RATP Group, signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a joint study on the viability of incorporating Urban Air Mobility into our daily lives.
The study will examine the feasibility of UAM through the lens of Mobility-as-a-Service, or MaaS, which is the movement of trending towards transportation as a service, like Uber or Lyft, rather than using personal modes of transportation. In other words, both Airbus and RATP Group will specifically examine the development of UAM as a service, looking at controlled costs and accessibility factors for integrating UAM into our infrastructural ecosystem.
Both Airbus and RATP Group have vested interests in making UAM a reality. Airbus is currently in the middle of developing several different types of eVTOL aircraft, many for the purpose of servicing urban air transport. The RATP Group is currently in charge of most of the public transport in Paris, as well as the rest of the Île-de-France region. The Paris Métro, as well as various tram and bus services, and part of the Réseau Express Régional (RER) network are all under the operation of the RATP Group. In the Île-de-France region alone, RATP is responsible for about 3 billion passengers per year.
Why it’s important: The joint study by Airbus and RATP Group will be extremely beneficial for gaining an understanding of how the future of UAM will proceed. The financial and physical viability of the endeavor of integrating UAM into a city or region’s intrastructure is still for the most part unexplored, as many companies have still yet to finish development of their aircraft before taking the next step. A study with insight from both a public transportation operator and an aircraft manufacturer will provide useful information for how to proceed in making UAM an affordable widespread reality.