Utah and Malaysia are starting to invest in Urban Air Mobility for their cities, with Utah predicting a 2023 start to the industry.
Utah envisions that soon autonomous, passenger carrying aerial vehicles will populate its skies. For now, Utah is preparing for this future through partnerships with local UAV companies and entities, such as Desert UAS, which builds the economic development of rural lands through facilitating Utah’s UAS services. Desert is a non-profit funded partly by the Ogden City government
Jared Esselman, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT)’s Director of Aeronautics, has said: “We may see a new method of air transportation in the next five years and we are working to ensure Utah is ready for it…Industry analysts project that urban air mobility will be integrated by 2023.” Esselman explains that Utah future transportation system will include not only roads, bridges, trails, and sidewalks, but also aerial infrastructure (UAVs, software, radar, etc.) that will comprise the “highways in the sky.”
Malaysia meanwhile has claimed to have already made a prototype air taxi with aid from the private sector, saying that they will showcase the vehicle to the public later this year. Malaysia plans to locally source the design and production of the prototype but for help with safety issues from international consultants.
“The prototype is ready. It is up to the private sector whether they want to use it,” Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said at a press conference on February 26th. “Malaysia has the skillset to excel in the field of aerospace, drone, UAV and the national car, and we need to use our skillset because the bottom line is we want to be a producing nation.”
Why it’s important: With Malaysia developing a UAV prototype and Utah investing in UAV infrastructure development, the UAM industry takes steps forward the world over. UAM is not just a topic on the minds of countries in Europe and the U.S, but on those of every country worldwide. With so many countries investing in the industry, indications of booming growth only continue in their prevalence.
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Source // Mashable, ChannelNewsAsia, UtahPolicy.com, Desert UAS, Ehang, and Open Access Government.