UTM systems, short for ‘Unmanned Traffic Management’ systems, are artificially intelligent softwares that will assist in directing and organizing denser air traffic that will be brought on new aerial mobility vehicles.

Currently, urban air traffic management is completed mainly by humans, but this will be become more difficult in the near future when the number of aerial vehicles vastly increases. To avoid collisions and properly direct traffic according to flight plans, softwaters must be invented that will help to manage this air traffic. Companies like EHang, Boeing’s SkyGrid, and AirMap are already working on these softwares, and governments throughout the world are collaborating with them synchronize airspace regulations and policies.

An example of the kinds of aircraft Altitude Angels hopes to one day manage in Europe

Altitude Angels, a UTM software developer that is already working with drones, is now set to assist with Europe’s new Uspace4UAM program. The program is a large-scale demonstration project for aerial mobility that will tackle issues of operational concepts, regulation and standards, and will “build confidence in a safe and orderly integration of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in every day air traffic”.

According to a recent press release from Altitude Angels, the Uspace4UAM project will study safety cases and their impact on system requirements, and look at how regulation and standardization can be set up to build sustainable aerial transportation businesses cases. A series of multi-national demonstrations, both with drones and urban aerial mobility vehicles will be conducted. They will cover different use cases, including mixed operations, to allow the project runners to understand critical enablers for a wide set of UAM service applications that can be applied across Europe. The project is set to deliver results that are of interest to early movers in eVTOL, enabling them to bring a real market impact in the next few years. It also will produce a number of commercial contracts for the provision of fully automated drone services, and present solutions to identified gaps towards fully autonomous urban air taxi services.

A visualization by NASA of the air traffic that UTM systems of the future will manage

Said Cengiz Ari, one of the leaders of the project, “Urban Air Mobility is going to be a critical part of our long-term roadmap to reduce the rising pressure on our transport infrastructure and to build transport capacity in the third dimension – the sky. We are optimistic that this consortium will contribute to a positive development of the Urban Air Mobility industry in Europe.”

Why it’s important: As aerial mobility begins to grow, governments and cities throughout the world will need to be prepared to manage the increased air traffic that will soon come. Programs like Uspace4UAM project in Europe are an excellent strategic move, as they will allow for many countries throughout the continent to begin preparing early, preventing any potential bottlenecks in the rollout of these services.

Posted by Benji

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