Amsterdam Drone Week opened this week, and urban air mobility took center stage.
The second annual Amsterdam Drone Week (ADW) took place on December 4th-6th this week, and provided a global venue for exchanging knowledge and expertise on current as well as future air mobility solutions, innovations, and essential regulations. RAI Amsterdam served as the focal point for top-level players, large and small, commercial and non-commercial, from various industries, knowledge institutes and authorized bodies to come together to create, innovate, and collaborate.
Philip Butterworth Hayes, the editor of Urban Air Mobility News, appropriately kicked things off: creating a vision not only of a world where drones provide an integral part of urban transportation systems – but where humans and robots establish a working relationship. “What do we want to achieve this week?” asked Hayes. “We need to achieve a closer understanding of the drone market and its potential, both in the short and long term.” If that isn’t enough of a challenge, Hayes says that Urban Air Mobility is nothing short of a revolution. UAM represents a complete change in thinking for cities. “We’re creating a new transportation ecosystem,” says Hayes. “The last time we did that was in 1945, when we started the commercial aviation industry.”
To discuss and brainstorm ideas for the new transportation ecosystem, Hayes moderated a roundtable discussion on “Reinventing Mobility” featuring key industry experts and innovators. The speakers included CMO Europe at EHang Andreas Perroti, Founder of AirMap Ben Marcus, Innovation and Deployment Director at ERTICO Dr. Johanna Tzanidaki, and Director New Business Ventures at Boeing Next John Damush. Boeing also hosted a handful of presentations on the Future of Airspace Management as well as Mobility & Sustainable Aviation.
In another address at ADW, Dr. Johanna Tzanidaki explained the “Internet of Mobility” and what that means for the future of drone transportation. ERTICO is focused on Intelligent Transport Systems, or ITS. ERTICO’s vision for mobility is a shared, digital, multi-modal and on-demand network. In practical terms, that means logging on to one system and determining the best and most convenient way to get from point A to point B: combining modes like bikes, cars, and drones as appropriate. Companies like BLADE are already providing services that combine multiple modes of transportation, and technology like that of ERTICO could be a solution that leads to further optimization.
ADW was also an opportunity for Avy to reveal its new long-endurance VTOL drone designed for lifesaving beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) missions. The vehicle, named Aera, features modular payload capabilities, integrated avionics, and redundant communications, and will be used, amongst other things, in the Medical Drone Service pilot project, launched earlier this week. The Medical Drone Service will investigate safe and reliable transport of blood products and medicines between blood banks and hospitals over the next three years. During the exhibition, Avy performed live flight demonstrations in the drone arena on each day, and displayed the Aera in the showcase area. Founder Mr Patrique Zaman also hosted a humble talk on his success thus far with Avy and the future of Urban Air Mobility.
Why it’s important: Amsterdam Drone Week is seeing growing success in its ability to rally key industry leaders, regulators, and manufacturers together for the purpose of expediting a new transportation ecosystem safely and efficiently. It’s the continual efforts of conferences and gatherings like ADW that will ultimately shape the aerial mobility industry and aid in garnering the public’s acceptance.
Sources // dronelife; Amsterdam Drone Week