The city of Los Angeles has announced its support of the second annual New Mobility Challenge. The main categories of the two-day pitch competition are Smart Infrastructure, Shared Mobility, Electrification, Autonomous Vehicles, and Personal Mobility.
Presented as part of the LaComotion Mobility Festival and sponsored by Metro, the New Mobility Challenge will award companies with cash prizes and support from LA’s best new venture investor networks and incubators. Matt Peterson, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), mentioned, “Los Angeles is the epicenter of innovation for creating a zero emissions mobility future”.
The Electrification finalists are electric aircraft developer Ampaire, ConnectMyEv for autonomous EV charging, and Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing,
Ampaire developed the Tailwind, a commercial electric aircraft. The Tailwind is not a eVTOL, but has similar goals such as noise reduction, efficiency, and environmental impact. Ampaire’s work could mean great steps forward for the certification and social acceptance of electric aircraft.
Of interest as well is ConnectMyEv. As noted in the Uber Elevate white paper, eVTOL operators will most likely place their ports on tops of large buildings like parking garages. Autonomous docking, charging, and ground management will be a major part of urban e-VTOL transport no matter who develops them.
Why it’s important: Los Angeles’ investment in a combination of autonomous solutions, electric capabilities, and flight show its commitment to finding high-tech aviation answers to LA’s mobility issues. The traffic issue in LA is the result of an overburned transit system at its capacity, and the emerging eVTOL industry could be an obvious answer. With the amount of interest generated by events like these, the market for eVTOL solutions will surely grow.